Coromandel Road Trip - Part 1!
Trip Start Mar 12, 2012
57Trip End Jul 10, 2012
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Anyway, that evening, Kim and I set out for the drive to Coromandel. It had gotten dark by the time we were ready to leave, so we were a little apprehensive about the drive, but the roads were lovely and clear. It was an easy drive, until we got to a coastal road, with loads of twists and turns, and a drop on one side down to the sea! But we got to the hostel in one piece and settled in for the night.
The next day, we were so tired after our drive that we didn't leave the hostel till 12pm. We decided to do the '309 Road', which we'd heard a lot about. The first stop we made was to see the 'wild' pigs. You can't miss them, as they hang around right next to the road. They're supposedly wild but are actually really tame and loved being stroked. We got out the car and said hello to them, one even rolled over so we could rub its belly! Then this guy Stuart came to chat to us. He's like the keeper/owner of the pigs, and looks after them. We were saying how sweet the babies were, when he went off, and brought back a tiny little baby pig! She was squealing away, and he handed her over to me, and I thought she'd hate being held. She did squeal for a minute but I just stroked her gently and she soon quietened down. We were chatting to Stuart, and he was telling us how people deliberately run over the pigs, sometimes just because they can't be bothered to slow down. It was so sad, they even run over the babies. Anyway, after a while, I looked down and noticed the pig's eyes had closed, and she had fallen asleep! Stuart said I must be a pig whisperer. She had gone all floppy, and was totally relaxed, so I gently tilted her onto her back, and cradled her like a baby. She loved it, and slept while I stroked her little belly! Stuart was so surprised, he said he'd never seen a pig do that before
Our next stop was Waiau Falls, a small waterfall along the road. We walked down to see it, but had to clamber down some rocks to actually get to it, but it was a lovely little waterfall.
Next we went to Castle Rock. It said in our information leaflet that it was an easy walk for normally fit adults and children to the top, taking about an hour to get there. The views were supposed to be fantastic, so we turned off the 309 onto a forest road, which was rough gravel and went up into the hills. We couldn't find any signs for the rock, so kept going up the road till we spotted something that looked like a path. We parked the car, grabbed our stuff, and started walking. The path immediately took us into the bush, and the ground was muddy and slippery, but flat (at first). It then started to become a vertical climb, and we had to use the rocks and roots to pull ourselves up. I don't know how long we climbed for (we were too busy clinging on the cliff side to check the time!), but it felt like forever. It was really tough going, especially as the path was wet and muddy, and we had to be really careful to make sure we had good footholds and something strong to hold on to
Finally, we went to see a kauri grove. Kauri are some of the biggest trees on earth, and they really are giants! I did the classic 'tree hug' too! They were really amazing. That was it for the day, and we headed back to the hostel for a well-earned rest!