Monday, May 26, 2008

Cathedral Cove and Whitianga

The countdown has begun: yesterday was our second-to-last full day in New Zealand, and we filled it with some fun adventures. The weather forecast called for rain, however the morning was cloudy but dry. We decided to take advantage of this by walking down to Cathedral Cove, one of the natural attractions of this area. It's about a 45 minute walk from the car park to the cove, which has a massive arch leading from one beach to another (the cathedral). Here is Dana at the beginning of the track:

The walk was nice, with a some side trips to Gemstone and Stingray Bays, and through farmland and native bush:

The last part of the walk was down narrow, dark, slippery steps which opened up into the cove:

Here are some pics of the cove, including one of me behind a waterfall made possible by last night's heavy rain:

We had the cove to ourselves, which was lucky. On the walk back, we passed about 10 people, so I guess we went at the right time!

We decided to drive to Whitianga for the afternoon to look at some shops and get lunch. On the way I stopped at the Coroglen tavern to ask directions and Dana made some friends:

In Whitianga we also saw a little burger joint that I think could have been the basis for the Bare Back Grill in San Diego. I had heard from a waiter at Bare Back that the owners were inspired by the burgers at a little burger place in a small surf town in New Zealand. The place we saw in Whitianga fit that description and also had a similar menu. We had hoped to eat there but it was closed (like most of the restaurants on Monday):

We also picked up a souvenir for Dana at a little shop that teaches bone carving and sells greenstone (jade) jewelry. The design is called a 'Koru', and it is an iconic New Zealand symbol:

After getting back to our B&B (Cathedral Court), we decided to go on a run (I am doing a 10k in a week and a half after all!). It had just started raining, but we braved the elements and ran up and down Hahei Beach for almost an hour:

After working up an appetite, we were treated to a delicious home-cooked meal by our host Jill, followed by a Scrabble game, which Dana won (Jill was second; I was third; Jill's husband Graeme finished last):

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