I have been absolutely awe-struck by the natural beauty in New Zealand. One of my favourite scenes is either the sunrise or the sunset. Both are just miraculous. Amazing that it happens every single day, and that each day it is breathtaking! The sunrise is the hardest to see as it requires being out of bed and out of the house before 6am. However, I was feeling very ambitious and somehow that rubbed off on Luke and yesterday we set our alarms for 5am! It's helpful that in our current home we are simply steps away from the beach, so we took advantage of that. With our beach blanket in hand and sleepy, groggy faces on, we flippy floppied over to the beach and settled in. Wow... was it ever worth it! I was simply flabbergasted! (that one's for you Dad, heehee). Enjoy the photos Luke took!
Walking to the beach
The amazing sky
Here comes the sunshine! Look at that reflection!
The most amazing golden yellow
A truly blissful moment
I wanted to play!
Just a sunrise beach walk...how romantic
This evening I decided to venture outside to enjoy the setting sun near the ocean's waves and soft sand. It reminded me of how beautiful, majestic and powerful the ocean is. Without any intentions, it brought my thoughts deeper and allowed me to relax into them. Always a pleasure. I wanted to share some of the beauty I experienced and was able to catch on film.
A good tune for photo viewing. I was listening to this song while I uploaded these pictures. :o) Enjoy!
The sun was just beginning to set - note the beautiful pink sky and the couple walking their dog
the sun was setting just behind the mount
I decided to have some word-play in the sand
a little tree posing
stunning light reflecting on the wet sand :)
I have been living in the mount for over four months now, and since the very beginning I have been saying, constantly, that I want to hike up the mountain to see the sunrise. I asked friends to join me... but that involves coordinating schedules and everyone waking up to their alarms... so that one never prevailed. I asked Luke if he would go with me, and being the loving and supportive man that he is, of course he said, "mayyyyyybe", but it would be up to me to push us to actually do it, and somehow, that task seemed too challenging. I considered just going on my own, but... that takes a bit of self-motivation, discipline, and well... sounded a little lonely. And thus, over four months passed with no early morning sunrise hikes to speak of.
Finally I decided that enough was enough. Everyone knows how annoying it is to hear someone talk about something over and over and oooover again, without actually taking any action. I realized that I was doing this, and I was beginning to annoy myself. So... I did it! Alone! Go me!
Last night I did as I always do when preparing for an early morning, I set out my "morning hike" clothes in a little accessible pile, I put my necessary items in a pack - cellphone, camera, keys, flashlight, tiny piece of candy :o) - and I set my alarm for a bright and early morning. Well, I guess dark and early for me!
When my alarm went off this morning, I was awake and ready for my solo adventure. Bring on the brilliant photos and self-reflecting moments! I got dressed, grabbed my pack, made a thermos of green tea and honey and was on my way. It is Spring time here, not yet summer, so when I felt a few rain drops lightly dropping down on me as I began to ascend, I wasn't too bothered. Especially when I looked up and genuinely could not see any clouds that the drops were coming from. Hmm...
The dark morning sky as I began my hike up the mount
I began my hike up, feeling the burn in my thighs and feeling proud of myself for getting up early, being active, and doing it all with my own solo motivation! As I wandered my way up, slowly taking off layer after layer, letting my thoughts float around wherever they wanted to go, I considered the thought that the rain drops seemed to be getting just the tiniest bit heavier... but I pushed the thought of my mind.
part way up the mount - the sky is getting lighter
As I huffed and puffed and pushed myself further and further up the climb, rounding the corner closest to the top, feeling very triumphant as I was al...most...there...
- FLASH -
Thunder. Lightening. Downpour of rain. Oh...My...God...
The thunder really shocked me to my core, as I was really not expecting it at all. And the lightening - terrified me! Being up on a mountain, it just seemed so much closer. I genuinely squealed, jumped, turned around and just RAN!
As I was running, a little common sense popped into my head and reasoned that maybe running down a slippery, wet mountain side was not the best use of my time, and I slowed down to a quick walk. I passed a few people heading up as I was heading down and noticed that they were all clearly prepared for this storm. They were wearing hats and rain jackets and all looked quite happy and content as they huffed and puffed. Me, I was wearing a fleecy sweater, not so water-proof vest and a headband. Woohoo not being prepared! As I continued with my quick-paced descent, leaving the slightly protected and covered tree area of the trail and entering the clearing part, the skies simply emptied. It felt as though a massive bucket of water was being dropped directly onto my head. There was so much rain that I could barely see as it was flooding my eyelashes and dripping down my entire face.
With many of the steps on the trail, they are gravel as well as a bit of wood. Well... wood sure gets slippery when its wet. Just as I was going down a particularly long and steep set of steps, I glanced up to see a couple of hikers coming my way. Just as I glanced up, I slipped on the wet wood and BAM - CRASH down I go. Onto my butt. On the wet steps. In front of lovely strangers. *sigh* I was convinced they knew how scared I was and how I desperately wanted to be running down, but clearly I do not possess the graceful footing required for that sort of feat.
resembling a drowned rat while I looked down on the storm-filled beach
Then, as luck would have it, just as I got down to the very lowest part of the mountain, into a big open clearing, the rain began to dissipate. Optimistically, I glanced back up the mountain and for a split second thought "should I..." then quickly brought my awareness back to the slish-slosh of my wet socks in shoes and how my headband was pasted to my head, turned around and carried on down. My home is only a few minutes walk from the base of mount, but of course, as soon as I stepped off the hill and onto pavement, the skies unleashed their worst yet! Again I couldn't see as the rain was so heavy and dripping into my eyes. When I glanced down I could see the rain bouncing off the pavement, jumping back up to the sky. If I attempted a look ahead, I could see the wind sweeping the rain all the way down the road before it even hit the ground, somewhat resembling ghosts flying through the semi-dark streets. The wind was whipping my stringy, wet pony tail into my face, a very unpleasant feeling. And all I could hear apart from the hiss of the wind was the slish-slosh-slish-slosh of my soaking wet feet, reminding me of many rainy soccer practices I had as a kid.
All in all, after I arrived home, warmed up in the shower and had a nice think about the situation I was just in, I had a wonderful morning. Perhaps it was not the morning I had planned for myself, but it made me laugh and feel good just the same! And now I am enjoying my thermos of tea and honey while cozy on the couch, looking out my window and noticing that the sun has finally made its way out.
"Do What You Love...Love What You Do"
Where in that quote does it explain how to pay your rent? Buy food? Develop a sense of financial security? Hmm, that piece may have been left out, no?
When do you know and how do you decipher between the things you need to do and the things you need to let go of? When is giving up on something an active, progressive and positive choice, and when is it simply wimping out? How much negative is one to endure before it is socially acceptable to LET GO!?
I recently spent three months working at a job that at first, it was okay. It was a means to an end, it supplied some funds, it allowed me to meet some locals... it was okay. Then as time went on and it became a part of my daily life, I noticed it was soaking up every ounce of my positive energy and hiding it far far away from me. Within five minutes of arriving at work I would feel desperate to just "get out". Even sometimes simply walking to work, the act of moving my body closer to such a negative place, would take my chipper, happy, sunny, on-holiday mood and absolutely butcher it. I became irritated, moody, negative, complainy... you know, and all around joy!! :-S
But... it paid the bills. And there were hours for me. I had truly tried hard to find something, anything else as a means of income, but being the wrong season in a small summer surfer town, I was constantly rewarded with a big fat "nothing now".
I began to lose sight of why I am here, in New Zealand. I am here for a working holiday. Yes there is the word "working" in there... but I know that there are many forms of making money that do not need to be considered "work", as long as you find what you enjoy doing!
So...how long is the "right" amount of time to endure such horrendous conditions? Was I being a baby, a wimp, for wanting to leave? The past five months have been a true holiday for me, minimal "work" involved.. so was this me having to "pay my dues" for all the freedom I previously enjoyed? Or was I being an idiot to stay somewhere that made me so incredibly unhappy?
I don't know the answers to my questions.
I don't know that anyone does.
But, this is my story:
After many many many squabbles in my head about what was the right thing to do, I made the decision to quit. No activity in my life should generate such unhappiness. Yes it brought me some money (it was basically my only income) but there is NO way that money is THAT important in my life. I would much rather have no money and feel happy and grateful for my life than to be rich and feel hollow.
Anyways, back to my quitting. I strategically planned my exit in my head, I wrote the letter, I told my friends, I prepared Luke for a fun-employed and broke-as Deanna, I made it real. It felt great. It felt amazing. It felt...free.
My heart-rate raced, my cheeks flushed, I began to perspire and I could feel my pulse in my ears. I placed my letter on the desk. FEWF! It's done!
And then... interesting things began to happen to me. The catering company that I had worked for very casually began calling me for more shifts. I found a fun weekend promotions job online and they fit me in. I was called for an interview at a coffee shop. I got the name of someone at a call centre who was looking for staff. So many positive things, especially concerning making money, began to fall into place. All because I had let go of that negative tumor and opened myself up to accepting new positive beginnings in my life.
it's in your hands!
It's scary to let go of anything. It really, truly is. But how do you know that letting go of one negative thing isn't going to bring you five more awesome things? You never know until you take the leap and just trust that you can make it work!
Capture The Colour
is a travel blogging contest hosted by Travel Supermarket
encouraging travel bloggers to showcase their beautiful photos in five colour categories; Blue, Yellow, Red, Green and White. I love this idea! Thank you to Bobbi at Heels and Wheels
for nominating me for this competition. Enjoy the photos!
If there is one thing that my eyes have been absolutely enthralled with since stepping foot on New Zealand soil, it is the sky! The way the clouds dance around the sun and each other, creating so many beautiful and colourful scenes is amazing! When those jaw-dropping skies are combined with sun rays sparkling down and glistening on the ocean water... absolutely inspiring!
This moment brings back such blissful memories of being relaxed, rested and revelling in the beginning leg of our trip. Sitting by the ocean in the tiny laid-back surfer town of Raglan
, feeling absolutely blessed to be able to witness such natural beauty and capture it on film...perfection.
Witnessing a sunrise is a beautiful experience at any time... but after hiking up to the summit of a mountain in the pitch black early morning and listening to the birds awake the world before the sun graces you with its presence...that feels like a miracle made only for you. This photo represents the struggle I faced to get my partner out of bed in the wee dark hours of the morning, throw on some runners, grab the camera and hike 45 minutes to the top of Mount Pukawhakataratara on the Coromandel Peninsula
in the dark. As we reached the summit I could only think to myself "he's going to hate me" as there were so many clouds I didn't think it was possible that we would see anything rising, let alone the sun. As the world does, it surprised me! As the sun rose above the mountains and shone its golden glow on the valley below, we learned that a misty, cloud-filled valley is the perfect canvas for a morning worthy of gold.
Love For Daniel
. A year ago a wonderful young man with a zest for adventure and an ear for beautifully played music was brutally killed in Victoria, Canada. Daniel was a good friend of ours. He was 20 years old. Many individuals sport this bracelet that says "Love For Daniel" to show ongoing support for what an incredible young man Daniel was. Luke and I brought him along with us on our New Zealand trip. This photo was taken during a blissful hike in the Coromandel Peninsula. It had rained all morning and this was the first glimpse of sun we saw all day. We like to think it was Daniel showing his appreciation for the hike.
Our number one concern in Taupo was finding a free place to sleep...what we didn't account for was this miraculous scenery being our backyard. Reids Farm Free Campsite
is home to this technicolour of natural visions. With my jaw-dropped, I continuously asked myself, "how can one river look so refreshing, so clean, so peaceful and so multi-toned?". I chose this photo as it amazes me that so much natural green can be found in the usually so crystal clear blue water.
As a true west-coast Canadian, when the weather turns rainy, windy and stormy, the Canadians turn to their rain jackets, hot coffee in a thermos and the closest point to the massive, crashing waves. We ventured out to Moturiki Island
in Mount Maunganui and hiked all the way out to the closest point to the waves. The raging white caps and white foam flowing all the way in to our toes was breath-taking and exhilarating. A beautiful moment during a so-called bad weather storm. :o)
I would like to thank Bobbi from Heels and Wheels for the nomination. I myself nominate the following travel bloggers:
Everyone believes that the life of a traveler is ideal right? A long, extended vacation, usually with no specific end in sight, all doors are open, all possibilities are to be considered and all beers to be consumed. While these may be true, its not all fun, games, excitement and thrills. Well, at least not for this traveler.
When deciding to go on a big journey across the ocean to the little island of New Zealand, I clearly had put some money aside in order to make the trip possible. However, one thing you learn when backpacking is that money, if one is not careful, can slip between the fingertips faster than you can even imagine. When at home and in the daily grind of working to live, it may always feel that there is not enough money in your account, or that, as much as you work, you still don't ever feel any richer. But one beautiful thing you have in those moments is the reassurance than in one week, two weeks, or one months time (depending on where home is for you) you will receive more money. When you're travelling, that luxury is abolished. The funds in your account is all that is guaranteed... and with each beer you guzzle down and each thrilling activity you do, that account continues to dwindle right before your little backpacker eyes.
So, what does any cash-seeking backpacker do... find a job!! This is where the complex arises.
When a person is working on a daily basis, their mindset changes. Suddenly they have a bit more of a schedule and more responsibility. They are required to show up somewhere at a certain time, they have committed to staying there for a determined amount of time. This is the first change from the easy-breezy backpacker lifestyle.
Then when the money begins to be deposited into the bank account, suddenly it's exciting.. by spending just those few hours last week doing whatever it was that was required, there is the reward of cold, hard cash! BINGO! And suddenly life becomes all about retrieving more of this money. More work now means more money now which means more free-spirited, easy-living travelling down the road.
Our first New Zealand paycheques!!!
Now some travellers have mastered the art of faith and trust that they will be able to find little odds and ends of work here and there, supplying them with small amounts of money to tide them over until they run out again. I, personally, cannot even come CLOSE to wrapping my head around this concept. The prospect of running out of money and not knowing where the next inflow is coming from and when... BAH... terrifies me and stresses me out to an extreme! Therefore... I focus on a few months of good, hard, solid time put into working in order to come out with a hopefully hefty bank account.
But then comes the hard part... where do you draw the line between saving all your money so you can travel to new and exciting places later on and fully embracing and enjoying the time you are spending in a foreign country now!?
I don't know the answer, but I am doing what I can to find the right balance for me, and that's all that I can do!
Prior to departing on our one-year adventure to New Zealand, many people asked Luke and I why we chose this as our destination. At the time it was all very vague; "The scenery looks beautiful
", "Similar culture to Canada
", "The people are apparently really friendly
". But what we didn't know at the time was how true our words were!The scenery IS beautiful
, and we haven't even been to the South Island yet, which, according to locals and those who have traveled both islands, the South is at least ten times more naturally beautiful than the North... yay for our future travels
!The culture here is VERY similar to Canada
. Many times I have found myself zoning out while walking down the road and genuinely forgetting that I am in a different country. There are minor differences of course, such as the words and slang they use, the accents, and the clothing and such, but in general the average persons' attitude is similar to what you would find in Canada. The people, especially those who's family goes back generations and generations in the South Pacific, are incredibly friendly, kind and inviting!
They are so very proud of their culture that they cannot possibly pass up an opportunity to share it with a few friendly travelers just here to experience New Zealand! They must really trust their instincts as to whether to trust a complete stranger or not and invite them into their home.
In the past four days I have experienced two different locals who have gone above and beyond the call of the "friendly stranger
" and have taken time to get to know Luke and I. In the end, they have invited us for a cultural feast with their families! This is one characteristic of New Zealanders that I will definitely miss one day when I am back in Canada!Thursday night we found ourselves at the local Irish Pub enjoying a few drinks and playing pool. The hotel I work at had a mid-year work party where we all enjoyed massive amounts of food at the Chinese Buffet and then wandered down the road to the Pub in order to let the food digest and continue the get-together. Two women were playing pool beside us and went out of their way to include us in their game. They were clearly having a good time, laughing and joking and they ended up playing a few games against Luke and one of my co-workers. Laughter erupted with every single shot.. it was a lot of fun to watch! One of the women, a very out-going and friendly woman, hit it off so well with us that she invited us for Christmas to "put down a hangi"! She didn't like that our travels so far consisted of traveling about and seeing sights, but no real focus on "culture". She wanted us to come and experience a true Maori Hangi with her family for Christmas. A Hangi is a "traditional New Zealand Māori method of cooking food using heated rocks buried in a pit oven still used for special occasions."
This morning while I was down in my usually deserted and quite peaceful workout room, I encountered another very friendly and kind local. While I was sweating away, obnoxious gym music blarring, a very buff looking man walked in and began to use the room as well. (this really never happens, I was taken by surprise!) The first clue that he was friendly, he didn't mind my obnoxious LMFAO and Katy Perry workout tunes! After some time we had a brief conversation. I forgot I had been wearing my "Flight of the Concords" T-shirt with a massive Canadian Flag drawn on the back and was very impressed when he guessed that I was from Canada. We talked for awhile and I found out that he was only here for the weekend with his wife and kids and lives up north, near Auckland. With no hesitation, and with a kind remark of "if it's not too forward" he invited both Luke and I to his home to experience a traditional Samoan feast with his family! He said his wife is a fantastic cook and that they truly love the opportunity to share their culture with others.
It is small moments like these, and kind guestures of this nature that make this trip one of a kind. I will always boost that Canadians are a generally friendly folk, but I cannot say that the average Canadian would invite a complete stranger to their home for a delicious feast!
Thank you New Zealanders for continuing to impress us little Canadians with your kindness and culture!
When the usually sunny and warm Mount Maunganui gets hit with a blustery, windy, cold and very rainy day, what do the two kids from Victoria, Canada do to entertain themselves? Go for a rainy, windy trek to the point closest to the massive rolling waves of course!
Moturiki Island has been a point of interest for Luke and I since we moved here two months ago, and yet, we had yet to adventure out to it. It is the beautiful"island" just down from Mount Maunganui main beach, a very popular spot for travelers and tourists to explore. I guess we figured since we're now locals, we'd wait for the perfect opportunity to trek out and see what Moturiki has to offer. Clearly we waited until the rainiest and windiest of all days to explore it!
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Moturiki Island from the Mount Maunganui Summit (on a sunny day)
The trek out was lovely, a very easy stroll along a well-kept path with beautiful natural scenery. We were lucky that parts of it were sheltered from the wind, as once we got out to the tip, closest to the big waves, we had to stay low and step very carefully to avoid being blown into the ocean!
The fantastic scenery on our trek on Moturiki Island
Having a spot of coffee at the tip of the island, a safe distance from the crashing waves
Luke demonstrating the strength of the wind
Mount Maunganui from the tip of Moturiki Island
The best part of the entire trek was, it made us appreciate the weather instead of complain about it! Sometimes the only thing you need when the wind is blowing and the rain is pelting down is to step outside, geared up in appropriate attire, and just experience the weather. You'd be surprised by how much you can laugh while being blown around, laugh while trying to see through a torrential downpour and become awestruck by the colossal power of the waves!
As the four month mark passes by on the day that we first stepped foot in New Zealand, I thought it was time that Luke and I reflect on our trip a bit, share some of our favourite memories, and update everyone on what our lives are like now, living in Mount Maunganui
. I'd say overall the homesickness has not been an issue for us, if anything, we simply wish we could bring everyone here to experience it with us!! There have been many dreams of "If I had the money, I would fly you here tomorrow
". New Zealand is such a beautiful, friendly and exquisite place.. I almost feel guilty enjoying it all to myself instead of sharing it... almost!
From the Unknown ........... To the Everyday
March 2012 | Vancouver Airport
July 2012 | Mount Maunganui Beach
What is your favourite city that you visited? Why?
Luke: Wellington. It just had such a nice welcoming feel to it, I felt like I was home. Probably had to do with the hippyish type people and that it is very similar to Victoria.
Deanna: Wellington. The streets were filled with funky, yet very friendly people. There were heaps of unique cafes and restaurants, a lot of "hole in the wall" type places. It was the kind of place I could see myself living and loving.
What is your favourite photo, where was it taken, and what makes it awesome?
This photo was taken up in the Coromandel Peninsula near New Chums beach. It's my favourite because this beach was amazing, me and Dea had such a great time here, and then this picture was taken and Dea looks like a monkey....and we almost cried laughing so hard.
This photo was taken at 7am on top of Mount Pukawhakataratara at Mana Retreat Centre on the Coromandel Peninsula. It was a challenge to get Luke out of bed to hike up a mountain for 45 minutes in the black of morning - but the beauty of the moment was worth it in the end! I was so worried about the amount of clouds that were present, but it turned into a beautiful, eerie, misty morning. This photo reminds me of what my time at Mana represents to me - freedom and inspiration.
What is your favourite New Zealand experience story to tell?Luke: I like sharing our wwoofing experiences at Mana Retreat Centre and Terri's because I think it is just a fantastic way to travel and meet people. Deanna: I really like sharing our stranded on 90 Mile Beach story. Its good for a laugh at our stupidity... and is a fun memory!!
Is there anything that you desperately wish you had brought with you and forgot?
My bro and sis
What would be your advice to anyone traveling to New Zealand?
Buy a car, it's just way easier to see everything, plus once getting here you realize you don't really have a home and having a car is just your own little home if you need it.
Keep your plans wide open so you can jump in with someone else's travels when the opportunity presents itself... and ask everyone everything.. the people are friendly!!
What individual, activity or place has impacted you the most in New Zealand?Individual is tough because Mana retreat is just this amazing place away from the world, once there you forget about everything around you. You become more relaxed and just have more room in your head to think. Then there is Terri who really took care of us when we needed it the most, trying to find a home wasn't the easiest process for us, and to have someone to just let us come back not just once but on plenty of occasions is amazing. So I guess you could say wwoofing again.Terri - she has such a warm, inviting and real way of living her life. Terri has fed us, taught us, laughed with us, laughed at us, fed us again, taught us about life in New Zealand, embraced us into her family, and even recently helped us find work! She loves her family above everything else in her life, which I respect so much and enjoy being able to be a part of. To allow so many random international travelers into your home on a constant rotating basis... you need to be a unique, open and wonderful type of person. Terri is all of these things!! <3
Would you say that you have changed at all in the past four months?
Yes definitely, I think being here has opened my eyes more on what's out there, I really want to see more of the world now, and meet more people.
I've become happier, more relaxed and laugh more freely. My life has much less drama! :)
Can you describe what its like living in Mount Maunganui?
So far like a dream - living on the beach, surfing, long boarding, and its only the winter, I can't imagine what summer is gonna be like.
Paradise! 4 blocks from the beach, sunshine almost every single day... perfection!
What are you doing now? For work, for fun?
Well I was doing electrical work which was very interesting to see how different it is from our country, but now I'm just helping in construction which is still interesting meeting different people. As for fun like I said surfing, long boarding, just walking on the beach with dea, and going on little adventures.
Since moving to the Mount I have been working with my roommate at a hotel in downtown Mount Maunganui, cleaning toilets, making beds, scrubbing floors.. all the fun stuff. Also, thanks to Terri, I have had a few shifts with a catering company that I am really enjoying, and I had my first "trial" shift at a coffee shop... which I was ecstatic about!! For fun I've been really enjoying the gym in our apartment building - mainly because its free and always empty! I've been having a GREAT time with my blog (thank you to everyone who reads and comments! you keep me going!) and just writing in general. And of course, my fun day trips to the library or beach!!
What is the biggest change from living in Victoria?
Not having those familiar faces and friends that we hung out with all the time.
Agreed! Not being surrounded by a group of friends that are ready and willing to partake in fun adventures on a regular, almost daily basis.. its a big change. And there's no Auntie Sue here.
What is exactly the same?
Hahaha this is the toughest question for me, not very much is exactly the same....I mean even the coffee is different, playing guitar is different because I have more time and feel like I am actually getting better. Driving feels the same now but it's different seeing how I'm on the other side of the road. I would have to say although work is somewhat different, I guess the people are somewhat the same, they interact the same, make the same kind of sick jokes, and overall Kiwis are friendly like Canadians, while you still get the odd jackass, just like in Canada.
I find living in the Mount feels as though I could be living in a part of Canada. There are obvious differences - like tropical trees in every yard - but because there are many pieces that are similar, I often forget that there is a body of water separating me from my home. Many days I find I feel so comfortable here that I forget I'm in a different country. I think being here with Luke really helps.. makes it feel like home.
What is your favourite part about your new living situation?
Well instead of my roomies pretending to have a British accent they actually do, and it's hard not to mock them. Also our apartment is awesome with a pool and hot tub, and the best part: it's cheaper than what I was paying back home.
We live in a b-e-a-uuuutiful apartment!! I love it. I am able to walk to and from work - which I have always wanted! And I don't have any money... I enjoy seeing what I can do without. It feels a bit refreshing and grounding, although at times frustrating.
Is there anything that you desperately miss from home?
Friends and family.....oh and timmys of course.
Bandit... and all of the above!
Is there anything that you thought you would miss desperately but you've been surprised that you don't?
Not really. I guess just Canada in general, I mean, I miss it but I guess I just know it will be there when I get back and being here makes me appreciate my country more.
There you have it! A reflection of the past four months through the eyes of Dukey and Dea! Anything else you're curious about? Anything you'd like to share?
I hope you've enjoyed reading about our adventures as much as we enjoy sharing them!
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Sweet Dea & Dukey
Papamoa Hills Summit - that mountain is the background is "the mount" - Mount Maunganui - our new town
Yesterday Luke and I enjoyed another day of constant sunshine with a different view of our favourite mountain. We drove out to Papamoa to hike the hills. The hike up was a good steady climb in a beautiful foresty area that teases you with small glimpses of sunshine through the trees. It was ever winding so you never quite knew where you were headed or where the summit was. which is helpful to "trick" yourself into thinking the summit is "just around the corner"
Luke and The Tall Trees
After our 45 minute hike up, and many many "hellos" "howsits" "howyougoings" and "g'days" from a friendly group hiking down, we saw our summit! A beautiful grassy top with 360 degree views of the Papamoa hills.
After our much quicker hike down to the carpark and toilets, we decided to head back to downtown Mount Maunganui for a delicious treat!! Anywhere at the base of the mount is a great place to get a delicious treat! From freshly made waffle cone engulfed ice cream, to lattes to fresh and hot fish and chips. And all treats can be consumed while looking at the beautiful ocean view or looking up at the monstrous Mount Mauao!
Main Beach, Downtown Mount Maungaui
Main Beach, Downtown Mount Maunganui
Luke and I opted to enjoy the rest of the afternoon down on the beach, a few km's away from the busy and bustling Main Beach of Mount Maunganui. This activity is beautiful, comfortable and free! There is plenty of people and dog watching, wave watching, friendly conversations with passerby's and a chance to catch up on that book or some well-deserved snooze time!!
The beaches best accessory: hunky man + guitar