Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I have been walking everyday with a buddy, Liz from Argonaut. We have been exploring all the neighbourhoods around. I don't think we taken the same trail twice. The other day we headed out to a quarry whose land was gifted to a local town council and they have set up a garden.
They have been at it for 10 years, there is a paid gardner and volunteers do the rest. It was a lovely spot, with great walks. There were plants that attracted Monarch butterflys so I managed to get some decent shots.
A few days ago we walked up to Whangarei Falls, by far the longest falls we have seen yet. It was about a 2 and 1/2 hour hike so we got rid of our calories that day. We headed off and then went across the river on a footbridge. We wound our way through a residential district, but we both figured we had made a wrong turn so we headed back to the river. Once we got there we found a very small unused trail but I could see the regular gravelled, well marked trail on the other side of the river. There were rocks at fairly strategic spots across the river so I convinced Liz that we should cross and get back on the proper side of the river. I made it about 3/4 of the way across, then lost my balance and ended up on my backside, wet up to my armpits. Liz, against her better judgement crossed as well, she took her boots off though so when she slipped all she got wet was the bottom of her shorts. It was hot though, and the damp clothing kept me cool. Barry and Mike drove up to the falls and timed it perfectly arriving at the top just as we crossed the bottom of the falls.
Today we went into Auckland to watch some of the Louis Vuitton Pacific Race Series. These are the same boats that race in the America's Cup so it was really something to be on the Haraki Gulf, in person, watching the action. The disappointment was the boats were a long way away and we had forgotten our binoculars and our camera. There was a play by play on the radio and so we kind of figured out what was going on but it was difficult to get excited when the action was a 4 miles away. Anyways, I am glad we went so that if it ever comes on TV again, I can say, Oh I was there!! Imagine being so close and not going!! We got to stay overnight with some friends we made during the crossing, they have sold their boat and are attempting to find jobs in NZ so they can imigrate. We also had a chance to see Tarun in her new home in Auckland, in the marina just over the big bridge so it was great to know where Brian and Cathy are situated.

We got more new windows today, so I hope to get the varnish finished and Barry can install the windows and hopefully when we get the chain back (it is getting regalvanished) next week we can get away for some NZ explorations in the boat.