East Coast, West Coast
Yesterday Mike and I drove from our home, 20 minutes from the ocean on the West coast, to the East coast of New Zealand. It took under two hours. For a Canadian, this feat is surreal. A few minutes out of town we drove along nail-biting roads through lovely green hills with a gorge running below us. I was quite proud of my efforts at sticking my hand out of the window and taking photos: When we got to Hawkes Bay we went to his parents' house, were fed massive amounts of good plain Kiwi food (read: barbeque), entertained by his little neice & nephew and given extensive tours of his mother's native plant sanctuary. Then we drove up to Te Mata peak with stunning views of the coast. The Maori legend of Te Mata is that two giants were fighting over a beautiful woman, and one giant ripped the other's throat out. Lying down to die, he became Te Mata, which, when viewed from above, is the shape of a person, with a gap for the missing throat. After that we drove 10 minutes down to the ocean at Napier - beautiful turquoise blue water, but it has one of the most dangerous undertows in the world, so no-one goes swimming there (there are beaches a little further north - to the right of this photo - that are great though). We left at about eight at night, loaded with veggies from the garden and apples from a local orchard - Hawke's Bay is The Fruit Bowl of New Zealand. Nobody, unfortunately, informed me that the apples were addictive. I think I've eaten 4 in the past 8 hours. . . .