Happy Valentine's Day!

Trip Start Jan 19, 2011
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
Wainui Hostel

Flag of New Zealand  , Northland,
Tuesday, February 15, 2011

the day of love... happy valentine's day! :)  Wow... what a great past couple of days!  Our quest for health was taken to another level these past couple of days.  We have started tramping (hiking). We both started a basic workout routine (very basic) before leaving and have continued that since travelling, but that was the extent of our physical activity... we've been doing a lot of relaxing and eating.  It's felt good to do some strenuous hiking. 

We stayed at Otamure Bay near the Bay of Islands, which is a large cove with a sandy beach surrounded by black volcanic rock faces.  So serene and peaceful, a nice change to the bustling campground we stayed at the night before where someone was blaring bad techno music (as opposed to "good" techno music?) all night.  We had found our place.  We were only going to stay one night, but liked it so much, we extended our stay another night. 

Not only was there beautiful beach though,...they had maintained 2 great trecks right from our beach tramping up and around the mountains in the area.  So lush and green.  Hard hikes... very steep,... a rude awakening to the extent of our physical fitness, but one of the most beautiful hikes I've ever been on.  Scenic overlooks, ferns growing everywhere... the coolest ground covers.  These mountains feel very "Hobbit-like"... very magical. 

Colin made fun of me that I was addicted to taking pictures (which I admit,... I totally am)  ... but I see life differently and almost more intricately through the lens of my camera. Not to mention, I'm exploring a new place that has awe-inspiring beauty everywhere!  But maybe that's how life is, and traveling just opens that up in us to truly be present enough to see all the beauty that surrounds us at all times.  I often feel as though I'm on auto pilot through life and that being stripped away from all routine and normalcy forces me to wake up and breathe.  Just breathe... take it all in.  This is my favorite aspect of traveling, the space to just be.  I'm feeling so much gratitude for the opportunity of this journey and for the fact that I get to experience it with my best friend. :)  Much love :)
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