Best day-long day! Caught the bus headed for Cape Reinga at 710am. Stopped to pick up others along the way. Went to a cafe for breakfast and got a long black (=coffee similar to an americano in Canada)! Full coach bus of people.
The bus driver decided to head straight up to Cape Reinga-expected number of buses-5 with about 50 people on each
so he knew it would be busy!
What an experience! I am grateful to be alive today. One of the most incredible places I have ever been to. Felt emotional because it was so visually stunning. Crystal blue, green, aqua colors of the ocean; bright blue sky. Green grass. I swear the colors are the most vivid I have ever seen! Brilliant sun, cool breeze. It has spiritual significance for the native Maori people and I can certainly appreciate and understand why. Amazing. The pictures will speak for themselves. Absolutely took my breath away....
Off to the giant sand dunes for sand boarding (I did not participate) but again, mother nature at her best. Basically take boogie boards add a crazy carpet slippery surface underneath and away you go! Everyone was laughing on the way down. The best part was the wipe-outs for sure!
We made a few stops on the way back-to a spectacular beach (can't remember the name-Taitaingua?). People were camped there, surfing, kayaking along the coastline. Also stopped for Kauri trees which are similar to Redwoods-over 1000 years old-strong yet pliable wood and protected.
The drive back was along 90 mile beach on the upper west coast. The bus was flying. It is actually used as a highway though those that drive on it cannot be insured if something happens. What a blast! White sand dunes on one side, ocean on the other.what a thrill:) Again, another unique incredible experience....there were some wild horses along the dunes which is rare to see:)
Also stopped at a fish and chips (called fosh and chops) at one of the fisherman's wharfs-I think it was called Doubtless bay? Sat outside on the pier for dinner (with the seagulls). They are the same as ours but have bright orange feet and beaks, plus orange eyeliner-lol!
When we got back to the hostel, 3 of the girls (Marly-she is Dutch and a nurse as well; Veronique from France; and Susan from Holland) and I made dinner and sat outside on our deck gabbing until 1130pm. Great night. My bunk mate Johanna from Germany also joined us. They all speak English very well and the conversation was very interesting for sure!
The Dutch celebrate Christmas with Santa Claus and also during the first week in December, they celebrate Santi Klause who is a bearded fellow that rides a horse and brings gifts for kids which he puts in their shoes when they leave them for him in the front hall. Adults exchange a card enclosed with a story for a family member (they draw names)-recounting what they have done for the previous year! Too cool.