Coromandel Region….Twists, Turns, & Low Tide
Trip Start Oct 13, 2010
58Trip End Jun 20, 2011
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October 19 - Day 3
Exciting day today! Checking out of our hostel in Auckland and heading out to pick up our new home for the next 3+ weeks….a mini-campervan! Campervan guys offer free pick-up from airport, so we took a super-shuttle to the airport and after realizing we were in the wrong terminal, we trudged off to the correct terminal, both pretty quiet and starving. Grump-induced disaster averted, we headed straight for the food court and chowed down on some Indian curries…filled our bellies decently but otherwise unimpressed….definitely no House of India in Bermuda!
Campervan guy picks us up and takes us to our home-on-wheels
After all the rental formalities and a lowdown of how everything works, we jump in and head off. Jill is pretty nervous about the left-hand side thing (though not really showing it) and I was in the imminent crash position…kidding kidding. [A bit of background here…since I only drove a scooter in Bermuda for 10 years and my Quebec driver's license had expired, I don’t currently have a license to drive a car…so Jill is our designated driver for this trip.] Unaccustomed to the tiny space I had in the passenger seat (I learned that it didn’t recline at all), I smacked my head on the handgrip above the window & sustained head wound #2 of the trip…again, no blood…just a bite of skin missing.
So we’re off on a 4-hour drive to the Coromandel region of NZ. The wind was blowing hard, making Jill’s navigation of the clumsy vehicle pretty difficult
So by about 7:30, we hadn’t quite reached our destination, but given the impending darkness, we decided to stop at a camp site in a small town called Whitianga. By that point, it was cold, windy and still raining lightly. Now our van is fully equipped to sleep in at night…there’s a bench/couch in the back that folds out into a bed. We couldn’t help but notice, however, these tiny stand-alone cottages…just basic bed, sink, stovetop, and a small table….but more importantly…..WARM
We cooked up some pasta with chicken for dinner…warm and happy with the choice we made. The whole time there was a cat begging at our door. Jill felt bad for him, but given that we had seen him scoffing a full sausage on the ground an hour earlier, we didn’t feel bad enough to feed him. Having had enough of the constant mewling, I scared him away and we settled in for the night.
October 20 - Day 4
Waking up after a nice, warm sleep and looking at the still-cold weather outside, it didn’t take very long for us to decide that we’d be springing the extra $25 for the mini-cottage again tonight. Yes, spoiled brats I know, but whatever.
Exploring the area today and first stop is Hot Water Beach
Next we moved onto Cathedral Cove…a series of really nice, short hikes that included Gemstone Bay, Stingray Bay, and the cove itself, a gigantic limestone arch. We were told not to cross the arch though due to falling rocks, and it was also cordoned off + had a sign there indicating as much, but that didn’t stop hordes of tourists from ignoring it and walking right through
Oh and just so you know, when cooking in a self -contained room where your kitchen, bed and clothes are all in one little space, maybe stay away from making fajitas... unless you want to smell like a Mexican restaurant for the following week – Arrrrriba!
Checking out tomorrow morning and on our way to Rotorua…until then…