El albergue

El albergue

Saturday, February 15, 2014


Let’s see if we can’t finally get through all the fun filled days of our trip with Mom and Dad, hm? I’ll bet that by this point those of you still reading are thinking, “Still on the trip, huh? How long does it take to write about the experience of just a few days?!” Well, it just so happens that life has been very busy as of late… I mean… the past three months… hmm. Ok, I get your point!

Back to New Zealand then! Quick! Let’s go!

Ok, Day 12. What happened on Day 12? Well, we drove for a whole heck of a lot of hours. Besides that and one amazing Thai restaurant in Wharengei (pronounced Farengay), the best part of the day was definitely our spur of the moment trip with Ocean Leopard Tours in Whitianga (yes, the Wh is pronounced F here too), on the eastern side of the Coromandel Peninsula.

It was an amazing afternoon touring down the coast from Whitianga to Hot Water Beach, with our tour guide Justin idling the motor past so many beautiful spots, explaining the historical, natural, and even political significance of each point. We feasted our eyes on soft swells of emerald blue, cliffs of undulating lava rock and pitted pumice and ash, as well as a few local sea birds that braved the chilly winds to hunt for food, diving for fish from high in the air.

Such a beautiful day

Of the specific spots we saw, the funniest one was Shakespeare Cliff, which seems to show the outline of the great bard’s features.

Look! It's Shakespeare! (maybe...)

The most interesting spot we saw was Cathedral Cove, which showed up in the movie Prince Caspian. An incredible demonstration of the process of erosion, what had once been a cave had been turned into a stately tunnel worthy of the highest ecclesiastical gathering.

Perfect place for a movie, right?

The last stop of the afternoon was a giant sea cave carved out of the cliff face, the water swirling in, around, and out as we gazed up in wonder at the craggy ceiling and worn walls.

Inside the cave...

It was a really good way to break up the many hours of driving on our way up north to Keri Keri in the Bay of Islands.

Mmm... meat pies for hungry tourists!