11. Nearing the (New Zeal)END

24 Feb

We started off the next day with a hike, at the Dawson Falls Visitor center, that had a boardwalk. #MOREDWALK So I was already excited.  But, on the drive, Rachel and I got even more excited when we saw the cloud-covered silhouette of gorgeous Mt. Taranaki volcano.

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Modest Mt. Taranaki

 

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Photo hunt: Find the bach

 

 

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More walk, please. Thanks DoC!

 

And also a gorgeous goblin forest that was extra lush and mossy (Do you know how much I love moss?) because it had just rained. 

 

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On a hike after the rain.

 

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A forest of moss

 

We also came across a little waterfall during the hike which neither of us were surprised about – but both of us were happy about — given how many waterfalls grace the north island.

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Surprise! Another one (but not really a surprise)

 

After several hikes, Rachel and I headed towards the coast where we saw an old shipwreck before driving to Paritutu Rock for (yet) another hike. This time, instead of a boardwalk, it was going to be an intense, grapple where we got to climb up climb with a chain. We love that, too!

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Ship happens.

 

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Definitely warming

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Team chain gang

 

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Blue-tiful

 

We stuck to the coast for the rest of the afternoon and went to explore the blackest black sand beach that I’ve ever been to. (Superlative: blackest beach, New Zealand.) AND thanks to Scott’s notes, we knew that this sand was magnetic, so we had stopped to pick up some strong magnets in order to properly play in the sand.

 

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A secluded, black sand beach

 

And then guess what we did next? We went on another hike… to… another waterfall 🙂

 

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can’t stop, won’t stop #nothisbetterthansouth

 

That night, we searched for a Couchsurfing spot. Trever, our host, had an awesome B&B, but since we found him on CS, we got to stay, with less amenities, in his parking lot for free! Thank you, Trever!

When we got to his place, he invited us out for the night. Our answer?

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You can probably take this as a ‘no.’

 

We thanked him for the invite, but we were just way too tired to rally. 

The next morning, we got to use the bathroom at his place (sweet as), and he offered to let us use the hot tub (which we were far too dirty to use). We filled up our water bottles (you know the routine), AND, as an extra unplanned perk, a fluffy cat jumped into the car to snuggle up with Rachelle. It was the purrfect goodbye.

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Cat in the bach

 

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We wanted to whisk(h)er away

 

When we headed out, my girl and I stopped and ate at our host’s ice cream parlour: Big Jazz ice cream. They made ice cream from real fruit!  Rachelle and I were so in-sync. We ordered the same ice cream flavor and basically had the same thoughts at the same time.  We were living the same life for one month. What a fantastic person to sync up with, lucky me ❤

After the ice cream, we had 3 things listed for the day’s adventure: a waterfall, a cave, and a natural bridge.

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Waterfall and yours truly: Check

 

On the hike to get to the waterfall, I added another item to my list: Get muddy.

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Muddy hazard

 

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Cave: check

 

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Natural bridge: check.  It’s natural, don’t ask questions.

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Off-roading

 

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Rock detours.

 

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Back water adventures.

 

 

The next day we woke up…”Do we want to go and see another waterfall or do you want to go to Sunday sessions?!”   Sunday sessions in Raglan easily won.  Raglan, we couldn’t stay away. #zigzag

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To Raglan we go!

 

We had a fun night out. We had drinks, heard live music, and I read Rachelle’s mind and wondered out loud if Andrew would tell Pedro.

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Sunday is in session!

 

There was a moment I got heated.  After we got some Tibetan food at a food stand, I got VERY passionate about the situation over in Tibet. I just couldn’t fathom what they have gone (and are going) through. Rachelle asked: “Can you imagine?” and my answer was: “IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO IMAGINE. LITERALLY IMPOSSIBLE. WE CANNOT IMAGINE.”

…Warming!!  At least emotionally.

But Rachelle, being the wonderful friend she is, quieted me down by reminding me that we were still in public. This worked briefly.  (“I understand why you might be feeling frustrated…”) And then before we knew it was time for us to leave.  As we settled in for the evening, a cat hopped on the car with Rachelle (she attracts them) and eventually we fell asleep.  It was hot, not my best nights sleep, but luckily the next day was cruisy.  


Still living in a car,
‘mi

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