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Internet connection restored!

Well, I'm back. Not home, because I'm just about as far from home as you can get without leaving the North Island, but because the motel we just checked into has wireless! OMG. The last place said it had it but you had to use the computer in the office and I didn't really fancy that!

Today we did something interesting, we paddled in the sea on one side of the North Island, and later in the day, we paddled in the sea on the other side! From Pacific Ocean to Tasman Sea. And tomorrow we go to the very tip of the North Island, Cape Reinga, where we see those two mighty seas meet head on! Photos inside the cut!


I have had flashes of intense responsibility, taking my children so far from home by myself. I really felt it as we thundered across the Auckland Harbour Bridge, heading north of Auckland for the first time in 25 years. I did a teaching section over the Bridge when I was at Teachers' College, the section after the Bay of Islands one, and my friend and I used to drive over the Bridge every day in her grandmother's old Morrie Minor, so old it didn't have seatbelts fitted. We thought we were lucky, but now I'm amazed we survived!

Anyway we drove north, all the way to Paihia in the Bay of Islands. The scenery became more and more beautiful as we drove further north and it feels a lot more like Australia, red soil, tall trees, huge plants and hot hot hot! The air just clings to you. While in the Bay, we caught a jet boat out to the Hole in the Rock - we went right through!
Photobucket
It was very exciting, all of us in raincoats and life jackets. The Bay is full of history, original landing area for the first Anglican and Catholic missions, Samuel Marsden and Bishop Pompallier. Out at the Hole in the Rock, we floated into a huge cave in this island way out beyond the Bay, and it was there that the Maori warriors used to wait in hiding in their waka (war canoes) for approaching tribes who had been spotted travelling up the coast, wanting to fight. They would dash out and catch the tribes unawares and deal to them on the water! Must have been amazing hiding and waiting in that silent cave of ocean deep water! Photobucket
It was so eerie floating there in the silent cave.
Photobucket

Anyway, that's enough for the first post!

ETA: Kaitaia is like Wiesbaden, closed on Sundays!!
The lady in the office keeps disconnecting the internet connection because some people are sitting outside in their cars using the connection as a hot spot! OMG so I guess I might not get back here for a day or so unless we get lucky tomorrow night... hope you are all well, anyway xx

Comments

( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
moth2fic
Jan. 11th, 2009 01:22 pm (UTC)
That rock with the hole and the cave remind me of some similar ones on/near Gozo (near Malta) but bigger and more exotic somehow! Lovely!

Nice to find a proper wireless facility. Hoping for more photos.
natesmountain
Jan. 16th, 2009 10:57 am (UTC)
-remind me of some similar ones on/near Gozo
OMG I wonder if I will ever go there! Sounds very exotic to me.

-Hoping for more photos.
Working on the photos. Christy and I took about 400 or so between us so we need to cull them now!
moth2fic
Jan. 16th, 2009 11:33 am (UTC)
I know all about culling photos - Colin takes hundreds! I sometimes wonder if he has time to appreciate what he's photographing...
natesmountain
Jan. 17th, 2009 04:22 am (UTC)
Christy takes heaps of pics too. She works on the premise that it's better to take a heap of pics and delete the crappy ones later. And in this digital age, it's probably a good idea. We're so used to being careful with film that needs developing, this whole memory card-download-delete thing is really very ...freeing? Christy kept berating me on holiday, 'did you only take one pic? But I don't look good in that one!'
moth2fic
Jan. 17th, 2009 09:12 am (UTC)
Colin used to do it with film, too - so this digital age is not only liberating but cheaper, and much easier to organise/store etc!!! :)
natesmountain
Jan. 17th, 2009 10:02 am (UTC)
-Colin used to do it with film, too
OMG that would have been expensive! But there was a special thrill getting the pictures back from the Pharmacy. (Except when they were all awful, or all turned out orange or something!)

Each year we put our pics on an external drive and on a disc for easy access. That helps.
moth2fic
Jan. 17th, 2009 10:07 am (UTC)
His never, but never turned out awful or orange or anything that happens to the rest of us mere mortals. But having spent time looking through them, usually at the most inconvenient moment, they would disappear into file boxes somewhere and if I actually wanted to see something again he wouldn't be able to find it...

We have some of his best work enlarged and hanging on the walls. He ought to try selling it but there never seems to be time. Besides, he now sells his videoing skills.
natesmountain
Jan. 17th, 2009 11:31 am (UTC)
-We have some of his best work enlarged and hanging on the walls.
That's cool.
-He ought to try selling it but there never seems to be time.
We have a large photo A3 size our neighbour, Rob, took of St Basil's Cathedral in Moscow - we bought it when our other neighbours were running a little local artists' art gallery before Christmas one year and Steve framed it. Rob has his underwater photos enlarged all round his house, and Vanuatu uses them for some of their stamps now! Like these ones
http://www.vanuatupost.vu/nudibranchs.html
And these on their own family website
http://www.marshallnz.co.nz/main_stamps.htm
Rob's personal story about heart surgery is on that site too. He's one amazing guy.
moth2fic
Jan. 17th, 2009 12:57 pm (UTC)
That's fascinating - and beautiful! I'm also interested in the diving memories because Colin's brother is a keen diver. So I've bookmarked the site.
vivh
Jan. 11th, 2009 03:25 pm (UTC)
Beautiful, thanks for the photos... we made it over the Harbour Bridge but never to the Bay of Islands, wish we had it looks beautiful.... maybe next time we come to visit....

Summer sun and jet boats sound so good to me right now, it is freezing here :(
natesmountain
Jan. 16th, 2009 10:59 am (UTC)
-we made it over the Harbour Bridge but never to the Bay of Islands, wish we had it looks beautiful.... maybe next time we come to visit....
Absolutely, on your next visit! That'd be good. The Bay of Islands feels a lot more like Queensland than NZ. Red earth, mangroves, hot weather. Just no spiders or snakes or crocs!

And it really was hot. I guess if you're freezing we shouldn't be complaining about heat. But the motels didn't have any air conditioning or anything like that!! One had a fan.
margaret_r
Jan. 12th, 2009 11:08 am (UTC)
Beautiful pics. You are certainly having an exciting trip - hope the fun continues for you. Travel safely.
natesmountain
Jan. 16th, 2009 11:00 am (UTC)
Thanks. We did have fun and made it home in one piece. I can hardly believe we made it. It seemed like such a dream to be going at all.
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )

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