11.07.2010 10 °C
I forgot to upload pictures of the dolphin boat cruise last time, so here is a taste of that. Look in the photo and video galleries for more pictures.
Saturday, July 10
Today we are on the move, leaving behind the picturesque town of Russell and moving south along the east coast of the north island to the Coromandel area. As you know, during our first two weeks in NZ we are traveling with the Cronsberry family. Jenn is currently on a year long teaching exchange in NZ. Fortunately for all of us, the family that Jenn is on exchange with own a bach in the Coromandels. They have kindly offered to let us use their bach for the week. As we move south the daily temperature will drop slightly to a day time high of about 13 degrees and a night time low of about 5 degrees. As we jump out of bed each morning to a rather chilly room, we will think of all of you back in Ontario who are currently melting in 35 degree temperatures!!
Driving to Whangamata.
We may not have yet told you but “Wh” letter combination is pronounced “F”, and g’s are not really pronounced so the name of the town that we are now in is pronounced “Fang – a – ma – ta”. If you google map, (is that a verb?), the Coromandel Pennisula in New Zealand, you can zoom in on highway 25 and try to imagine the curves as you drive. (Yes on the wrong side of the road) see video [Missing] if you can’t imagine it. You will go around a bend in the road and the cliff to your left is about an arm’s length from your window. In some spots the trees on the cliff extended out over the top of the car. While driving the winding road up and down steep inclines, people would pass us doing 70 or 80 kph. This is a little unnerving as you can not see more than 50 feet in front of you before the road bends out of site in many cases. We pulled over a couple of times to let the tail-gaiters pass. Despite some rather hair raising curves and nauseous children in the back seat, we made it to our new Bach safe and sound.
In an effort to further share the experiences that we are having, we thought that we would like to include you in our pondering of words that we hear when travelling.
WORD WONDER#1: the word ‘fresh”.
CONTEXT: After ordering some subs at a Subways fast food restaurant, the server asked “would you like that fresh”.
OUR REACTION: Hummmmmm........well yes, because we do not want a stale sandwich. This first reaction of “yes” was also support by the thought that we would indeed prefer to have the sandwich made right there in front of us. SO, we did say yes.
WHAT WE FOUND OUT: Through eavesdropping while other people placed their orders, we found out that fresh means not toasted. So if you were to eat a slice of bread ‘fresh’ this means that it is not toasted!
Sunday July 11/10
On this frosty morning we decided to start our stay in this area with a walk on the beach of Whangamata . It was a beautiful beach with only a scattering of people strolling along it. It was also a beach comber’s paradise. The kids immediately were captivated by the variety of shell, sea sponges and starfish that were littered over the beach. The starfish are almost perfect pentagons and about 5cm in width. The sun was warm; there was no wind, a perfect day for a long walk on the beach.
After lunch back at the bach, we headed to the Karangahake Gorge, a 40 minute drive along, you guessed it, windy roads, to do a tramp along trails in an old iron mine. The tramp started with us traversing two suspension bridges and then walking up a trail that lead to the “Windows Walk” trail. This trail has tunnels that, in the 1890’s during the peek mining time in this area, were where small rail cars full of coal or ore were pulled by horses or donkeys. Now these rail tracks are the base of the walking trail that leads through the honey comb of mine shafts, battery areas and a pump house. With torches in hand we ventured through a few of the narrow mining tunnels. At several points in these tunnels there were holes punched through to overlook the gorge. These holes are the windows on the walk that allow you to peek out to the impressive gorge below. In one of the tunnels we were happy to spot a group of glow-worms. It was quite fun to turn of all of the torches and see the glow from the glow worms on the ceiling of the tunnel. They look like tiny florescent dots all over the ceiling of the tunnel. Interestingly, these worms are actually a type of maggot. They are called ‘glow worms’ as a marketing strategy on the part of the NZ government. Correctly, the NZ government felt that people would prefer to view glow worms rather than glow maggots!!!
What Is It?
OK, since internet is not always available, I’ll have to let you know the results of the last what is it challenge. Here is the new one. These are found in every residence and the fact that it is in chrome, might give you an idea as to where you’d find it.