Sunday, March 13, 2016

Coromandel trip 2016 - or - checking out paradise to chill out in

Sunday, March 13, 2016
oldbearnews editor

Sunday 13 March

Awoke to the news that Christchurch had a 4.4 “DAMAGING” earthquake overnight – yet no damage has been reported.  Go figure. Seems everyone at home is fine too!!

So after the usual brekkie and clean up, we hit the road and aimed at the famous Road 309! Scary for MB and fun for PB – mostly shingle and very narrow (single lane in places) and windy - thank goodness for power steering.  Occasionally things get really hairy when a large truck comes round the corner.  Yikes!
Still - the 40 horses got flogged going round the corner.
Sighs - if only

Stopped at the Kauri Grove – with the trees being 600 years old (late teenagers really) – and then on to at Waiau Falls! While I played around with settings on the camera mamabear made it to the water and got her feet wet - ice cold!!
A German nymph came along and stripped down and took a dive - yelped -  and was out in less then 2 seconds - it was to cold!! Last time we were there, the water was a lot warmer and we urm surprised a couple doing the naturist thing.  Never seen someone so quick get a pair of togs on.  *grins*  I am sure the current lass would have stripped down completely too, if we had not been there.  It is a bit risky as the road is less then 5min away and there are always people stopping and walking in for a quick look - so literally no privacy guaranteed!

This time I decided I would see if there is a track to the top of the waterfall - there is - and by the time I go there a new group of young tourists lounged around the falls - with one enterprising young (or I should say STUPID) lad deciding to try and jump from the top - WITHOUT first checking out the water / depth/ flows / hidden obstacles etc.  I talked that idiot out of his sure to be doomed excitement.

While taking pictures up there I also came across an "Alpentaler" (Austrians will know what that is) - urm - ok - someones left behind brown waste. 
New Zealand does have a problem with people freedom camping (and sadly most of them but not all of them being tourists) and as some Kiwis know, that when you gotta go you gotta go, and that when you do go YOU BURY your brown waste -preferably a foot and a half - 30 cm for the metric people - deep!!!!
It is not that hard!  I reckon every freedom camper coming into NZ ought to be given a spade which gets inspected at return and if there are no clear use-sage marks (eg it has never been used ) they get charged a nz $1000  OR - we introduce a Visa $$ for helping fund toilets at certain places.  A long drop in the car-park would go a long way of avoiding stepping into the shit!

Anyway - stepping down from my soap box - we drove on to a place we been before --  the Waterworks – a Salzburg Hellbrun equivalent for NZ – lots of fun!
It has various water based activities and lots of clever humor sprinkled through out.
You certainly know what this room is meant to be for!!!
Had lunch there and took lots of pics again (which will need sorting when we get back to Christchurch) and also had a 'one' scoop Ice cream - which actually was a calorie buster - but tasted yummy!

Then back home on 27 km of shingle road! Fun!!  Mamabear still having kittens. I offered for her to drive - something she refused!! Can't think why!?

Once home we chilled out in the afternoon sun at motel – then had the local specialty for tea – Fish and chips – very nice!! ( that incl. garlic-buttered chips)
After that we had a therapeutic stroll on the beach at sunset! Water warm once you got in for 2 minutes! 
We saw some local rare birds (dottrels??) dive-bombing for their own food! So cool! (wish I had a decent Camera with me)!
Eventually back to base and a post sunset stroll / pre-sleep drink!

NOTED that so far MB has managed to dip her toes in every beach and on every day!!!!

 A tiny creek you cross when going to the Kauri Groove!

Two Kauris growing up originally side by side as saplings - then they run out of room - so now they share the base.  They are called the Siamse twins - go figure

 Playing round with long term exposure . . . . .

 Trying to give an impression on the *girth* - urm - *cough* of the tree - of course!!!  I must admit - the early settlers chopped them down and used them for masts and other places where you needed long straight timber and I look at a tree like this too and think - hmmm - I COULD build our house out of that . . .     the realization it took that tree to grow for 600 plus years . . . . . .   holds you in check nowadays
Still . . .
(secretly wonders If we can import a Californian redwood pine log. . . . . . . )
 Typical NZ Bush scene -
 Took Mamabear a while (she failed to see / read the sign for some time)  to get this one! Love the humor
 The obligatory night stroll on the beach! Looking west
 same time - same place - looking east
 The river that feeds the Waiau falls.
Stashed away and resting amongst the branches - one very protected bird (NZ wood pigeon) .  I had difficulty focusing on it, as the branches would throw of the meter reading gadget on the camera - eventually did it manually.  It came out ok?!
Mamabear contemplating doing the naturist dip thing too - while cooling her feet - then deciding it was too cold after all . . . . .

Have fun! bear print

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