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Sun Rising on the East Cape of New Zealand – Day 35
Sunday 1st May 2005
It’s May Day today, being the first of May, and as the plan was to see the sun rise this morning, it could turn out to be a very special day indeed, but you just get the feeling that not all will go quite so well today. Read on to find out how today panned out.
The alarm was set for 5:00am this morning by Claire, this giving us enough time to get to the East Cape and watch the sun rise. The alarm sounded, and to be honest I was in a half dreamlike state, thus awakening promptly at the sound of the alarm. Claire, however, was still sound asleep. A minute or five passed with no signs of movement from Claire, the alarm still ringing out. I was conscious at this point of the other people in the room stirring, as I’m sure they heard the alarm, so I had to shake Claire to get her to wake up. She may have felt the need to hit me as she awoke with a stern look upon her face. “Who was this guy shaking her out of her sleep?”
Reality hit and it wasn’t long before normal service was resumed, and the two of us headed out to my car to begin the short drive to the Cape. It was fun trying to be quiet, as it never seems to work. I think the more you try to be quiet, the louder you inevitably become, it’s the same in any situation. Starting the car and reversing out the stone driveway was probably enough to ensure the other guests were fully awoken, but we didn’t care at this point. We were on our way.
The drive was nice this time in the morning, as no other cars hampered our progress. I took a little skid along the gravel roads, something that took me a little by surprise given my newly found confidence on driving on such roads. It was only brief and we laughed about it afterwards, although a little nervously.
We arrived and set out to find the pathway to the lighthouse. It was actually simple to find, but consisted of numerous large steps up to the Cape. We had to stop half way up for a breather, but struggled onwards until the lighthouse was in sight. There was a seat also, and this became our best friend for the next half-hour or so. We were the only ones here at this point, but during the next 30 minutes, more people arrived. There was a handful of people here when the sun began to rise.
It was beautiful to watch, and it dawned on me at this point that we were among the first people in the world to see the sun rise on this day – May Day 2005 – and it felt a little special. Claire is a cool girl to be sharing it with as well. It felt like a long, slow process for the sun to appear, but as soon as it did, the light engulfed us and it looked like daytime in no time at all.
The drive back was non-eventful – thankfully – and we arrived back at the hostel as others were waking up. It had been a good morning, and the two of us had a good laugh along the way, and had much to talk about. But for now, we got our things ready to depart and go our separate ways. I used the ‘Loo with a view’ one last time before setting off for Gisborne. The ‘loo with a view’ is so called for its position on the hillside overlooking the sea. The big hole in the door meant you could sit and look out into the distance, but you had to ensure you were always very vocal. This ensured people knew you were in there, and that no one could walk in on you.
So off I went in search of Gisborne, hoping to try my hand at some surfing – after apologising to the other guests for waking them up during the night, which we had apparently. The day started off very warm, and the coastal drive was incredible. I stopped once or twice for a look at the golden beaches. I ventured onwards and found the hostel located in a green area of trees, but was greeted with a sign saying the place was closed due to water blockage. It sounded painful, so I turned the car around and drove off.
As I travelled through Gisborne the weather began to turn cloudy. I stopped to admire the surfers for a bit, but there were no hostels anywhere near to stay, so I made the decision to drive on. I wanted to learn to surf, but maybe this is not the place to do so. I headed for Napier in the hope of finding Stables Lodge Backpackers.
I found it.
I chose Napier as it was the next place on the map, and I was a bit bored of driving by this point. I find that when I’m driving for a long period of time, I start to fidget, and start to do silly things, or speak loudly to myself in a strange voice. It makes me laugh, but I’m worried this is a sign of insanity, and this is not a road I want to go down, so stopping in Napier is a wise decision.
It turns out that I don’t really like Napier that much. It reminds me too much of home, with nothing special to capture my attention or to keep me amused. I ended up driving around town killing time, then headed for the nearest take away before catching an early night. I was tired at any rate.
Written by Daniel Stevens,
Founder of Roundtheworldtrip.org.
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