The End of the World

Trip Start Dec 16, 2009
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of New Zealand  , Auckland,
Saturday, January 16, 2010

Today, Zara and I got up early and headed to Cape Reinga, the northern-most point in New Zealand, which is like the end of the world.  Meaning, I'm at the eastern-most longitude at the most north one can possibly stand.

On the way to the cape, we stopped at Manganoui, a small fishing village with what is supposed to be amazing fish and chips. Amazing because, apparently, they catch the fish that day and serve it, so it's super-fresh.  And what better way to eat fresh fish than to deep-fry it in batter and serve with tarter sauce!!  Mmmm... Fresh has never been so... er... fried.  There are also a lot of hiking tracks, but our goal was to get to the Cape, so on we went.

Approaching the Cape, we stopped at the last petrol station to fill the tank. At the station were some Americans who filled their car with diesel fuel by accident, and were freaking out.  They were older, rounder and louder than everyone else, and couldn't help but somehow blame the people at the station for the mix-up, even though they filled the car themselves.

I shudder when I see people from my country being obnoxious to locals.  And they were truly obnoxious and rude to everyone there while they tried to figure out what to do. I kept quiet so no one would hear my accent and associate me.  I silently reveled in their idiocy as my way of protest of their behavior.

We got back on the road, which turned to gravel for several kms, and drove about 45 minutes.  I wondered what would be there at the End of the World.  Zara and I mused that maybe there would be a coffee stand, or perhaps something more random, like a pork chop stand.  What would people want at the End of the World?  PORK CHOPS!! And maybe some coffee, too.

But what is really there is magnificent. What's there is a vast coastline of sand dunes in one direction, and in the other is water and sky for what seems like infinity.

For the Maori, this is a very sacred place.  It's known as Te Rerenga Wairua—  The place they return to their distant homeland from after death.  And by jumping off a lone tree on a hillside into the water.

In the distance, at the northern-most tip of the northern-most point is a lighthouse directing travelers to major points north, south, east and west.  Sydney, Bluff (the souther-most point in New Zealand), London, Los Angeles, and Tropic of Capricorn.

Below, a true phenomenon occurs every single moment. The Pacific Ocean meets the Tasman Sea. The water of the Tasman Sea is sea-foam green, and the pacific is dark blue.  As far as one can see, there is a distinct line in the water where the two tides meet, one side being green and the other being blue. I have never seen anything like it in my life.  They literally collide, but it's a lot more gentle than one would imagine. Knowing that this occurred here, I thought it would be a violent tumult, with the spray of crashing waves and their spray rocketing upward.  But, no. It's very gently and quiet.  The two waters melt together.  Wouldn't it be nice if all opposing forces in the world did that? It's a stark contrast to the tragedy in Haiti.

So what's at the End of the World?  Serenity.

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Mary on

Have you tried the water? Is it warm and swim-able?

Mickey on

Jordan, this is all so wonderful. I love traveling with you. And you write so beautifully and humorously. Thanks so much...this all means a lot to me, to see a part of the world I have not seen before through your amazing camera lens and your own heart and words. Be well.
Love, Mickey

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