Day 424...Let's Drive

Friday 23 December 2016

For the kayakers, sadly no paddling today.

As the rain and the wind arrived overnight, it was actually nice listening to it throughout the night. I had pushed hard yesterday during my day on the water and my muscles were enjoying some well-deserved rest. These past few off-the-water days we’ve been sleeping with a couple of the curtains open, enjoying the early morning sun light as our wake-up alarm. Gradually we got up and enjoyed breakfast. I passed on coffee this morning, not wanting to push my luck on too much of a caffeine hit, and instead drinking a ginger and turmeric tea concoction of mine, telling myself it was far better for me.

We spend the morning in this little Houhora campsite, staying in the calm, away from the Chirstmas chaos everywhere else but eventually we too, need to make a bit of a road trip ourselves. A trip along the coast. As we drive through Cable Bay, we are spotted by our new friend, Paul, who quickly calls my cell phone saying: “Where are you both going off to?” As we still have things to get done today, we promise to call in tomorrow. We stop for a quick detour towards the stone house near Keri Keri for some well-deserved lunch and a quick wander about, and that was the fun part of our day; enjoying time out of Cuzzie.

But we still needed to get into the city, so we sped towards Whangarei. The traffic slowed and, the closer we got to the city and the shops, the more my calm mood disappeared. I had to remind myself to take a "chill pill" and deal with it. Along the way, we decided to be nice and stop for a hitch-hiker. That very nearly turned into a disaster as I needed to turn and clearly didn’t look correctly, just about crashing into another car. I just about had a damn car accident! Thank goodness for their quick reaction and driving skills! To be honest, I had to stop for a moment and regroup after that close call. To make it even more entertaining, by the time we actually got back to pick up the hitch-hiker, someone else had already stopped for them!! To be honest, they were probably safer with the other person.

Eventually, in the city of Whangarei, we head towards the essential shops, finishing at Pak ‘n’ Save. I was dreading the Christmas rush but, to be fair, it wasn’t all that bad and we managed to locate everything we needed before finally escaping. Then it was time for a quick catch-up, hugs and a gossip with the gorgeous Nat before she headed home for Christmas and then on a plane to play with more fireworks in Melbourne for the New Year’s Eve city party. Before we leave Whangarei, we fill up with diesel and each time, we thank Gull for their kind support in helping out with fuel on this journey of mine. Then it was back on the road towards our final destination for tonight and our home for the next couple of nights; Taupo Bay, just north of the entrance to Whangaroa Harbour, where we are very kindly being allowed to spend a few days at the gorgeous Taupo Bay Lodge. (www.taupobaylodge.co.nz). I’m not sure how I can ever say the biggest THANK YOU to Todd, this place looks awesome! As we drive up the drive and stop at the front door, neither of us can stop grinning. What a stunning location! The house is amazing and we are both feeling so happy and so very lucky. We stand on the deck and all I can say is “Wow, look at that coastline!” I can't wait to paddle on the waters below but, until then, I’m happy just to enjoy the view.

Now, I’m sitting listening to the ocean as we are way up high on the cliff. It really is magnificent. In the end, I’m very late to bed, tonight it is like a wonderful dream. The most crazy thing of the past few days is that I‘ve been waiting to see the sun set for the last couple of nights!! But guess what? I’m on the East Coast, so sunrises are what I now need to look for! With that in mind, I’d best get to bed so I can enjoy the start to a morning’s amazing sunrise. I remember that, this time last year (yes, one year ago) I was getting ready to get on the water and paddle across the Cook Strait. How time flies when you are having such incredible fun!

My smiles today:
The East Coast. I am actually (officially) now paddling downhill!
Smiling as I drive along this new coastline.
Seeing Nat and friends.
A huge house and bed tonight.
Sitting on top of this hill with an amazing view.
Memories.

My thoughts today:
A good life is when you smile often, dream big, laugh a lot and realise how blessed you are for what you have.

Goodnight from Red and Bianca.

Ma Te Wa.

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Our wonderful view.

Our wonderful view.