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The Cape Reinga Tour – Day 14
Sunday 10th April 2005
A tour of Cape Reinga was on the agenda today, and the weather showed all the signs of being a hot one. It should be a good day.
The morning came about in the usual fashion, and I awoke and readied myself for the day ahead as I always do. The sun was shining and it really was a nice day. I got my things together and spoke to the hostel owners before I set out just to confirm I had the right time etc. It was at this point that I was told Hiromi was also going on the tour, so it should be a fun day I thought.
We found the pick up point and hopped onto the coach ready for the trip up to Cape Reinga. We passed Kaitaia on the way and stopped at a forest location to witness some very old and very large trees. I think they were Kauri trees, and they were simply immense in height and girth. The area that we were walking had been clearly marked out for us, and there was no straying from the path, but we were able to get close and personal with these stunning trees. I was absolutely amazed, we both were. Hiromi hadn’t seen anything like this before, and come to think of it, neither had I.
On to the coach we hopped after the brief walk, and onwards towards the cape. We had to negotiate some awkward mountain roads en-route, and the coach seemed to be struggling at times, but we came through nonetheless. As it turns out, these coaches can manage on just about any terrain.
We arrived at Cape Reinga and took in all the sights, including the area of seawater where two seas met each other, creating a turbulent stretch of water. The colour was visibly different between the two seas, and at the point of collision there was a brown from the seabed, as sand was ripped from it’s resting place to be swirled up into a frenzy of choppy water.
Just past the lighthouse was a strange piece of land that gave way to a little history. The cape stretched out to a point into the sea. It is here that people believe spirits move into their after-life. The spirits walk along the rocky pathway to the sea where they eventually lose themselves to the waters at the very tip of the North Island of New Zealand. It is a nice myth, and one I can believe. Hiromi and myself snapped away on our cameras before entering the coach again.
The next stop was to a large sand dune, although you could call it a mini sand mountain. It was here that we tried our hand at some sand sledging, and I have to say, it is immensely fun. We first had to scale the large hill to reach the summit, then jumped on our boards for a thrilling ride down to the base and across the small stream below. This is the theory anyway. When it came to me, I managed to make it all the way down the hill and was preparing my journey over the small stream, until my sledge hit a rut and catapulted me off and onto the dirty sand, covering my white shorts with a horrid stain.
I opted for another go, but this time I didn’t make it to the stream. It was a lot of fun, and I was a little sad to be setting off again, but this is what we did. Onto the coach we went again, this time our destination was 90-Mile Beach, aptly named as the beach went on for miles. We drove along the sand on this amazing coach of ours, driving along what has become a mini highway for traffic coming to and from the cape, stopping briefly for a little walk to stretch our legs. It was here that Hiromi gathered some cockles that she would later use to make some soup. It was very windy, but still very warm.
The final part of the journey returned us back to the Bay of Islands, and back to our accommodation. After a brief conversation about our adventures with the hostel owners, Hiromi and myself sat down to relax. I have become good friends with Hiromi. We have much in common, and share the same birthday. We sat and talked throughout the evening with Bastien, the other guy in the hostel – who is also really decent – then had my dinner. Hiromi made her soup, although I was a little late to the kitchen to be able to try any. I was reliably informed that it was very nice though.
The rest of the evening was spent chilling out with my friends, chatting and laughing, having a great time. I have realised that I will miss this place very much, and the people here also, but am looking forward to seeing more of this fantastic country. I will be sad to move on tomorrow.
Written by Daniel Stevens,
Founder of Roundtheworldtrip.org.
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