Finally-New Zealand!

I know many of my friends are patiently waiting until I can tell them about my recent trip to New Zealand. 

After I returned and was still struggling with a jet lag, I had to deal with a harsh reality: to make three small quilts in a week! Now, when that is behind me and photos finally sorted out and  transferred to my computer, I’ll try to share some impressions, images and thoughts.

It took us three flights and 25 hours in the air (plus quite few hours waiting between flights) to fly from Riga, Latvia, to Auckland, NZ. The jet lag hit me really hard, the difference in time was 11 hours, complete reverse of day and night.

Thanks to my dear friend Valda, she picked us (me and my Lithuanian friend) from the airport and gave us a shelter in her house to recover and rest. But actually she kept us busy, she taught us how to make Anzac cookies and Pavlova:

Making Anzac biscuits

Pavlova is ready

The view from my friends house was amazing, nothing that we could see here in Lithuania and we enjoyed sitting on her porch. For my dear friend and my mentor Brenda Gael Smith this was a view from her childhood home and I am posting this photo for her:

View of Warkworth, NZ

We only rested in Warkworth for two days and then we hit the road. In the North Island we traveled by coach. We had an itinerary designed especially for us by the travel agency Relaxing Journeys.  It was fabulous!

From Warkworth we traveled North where we spent two nights in Paihia,  Bay of Islands. But first we stopped for a walk in a rain forest. Silver fans, fan trees, Kauri trees, and many others that only grow in New Zealand:

Silver fan that used to help Maori people to find path in the dark

Under the fan tree

Koru- a new silver fern leaf, in Maori culture it is said to represent new beginnings, growth and regeneration

800 years old Kauri tree

Amazingly green forest

Taking a boat to the Hole in the Rock is a must if you are there:

Hole in the Rock in the Bay of Islands

There are 88 islands in The Bay of Islands and our boat stopped at one of them so we could enjoy the view from the top:

View of Bay of Islands

The next day we traveled even more North, to Cape Reinga. That the sacred place for Maori, believed to be the point where the spirits of the dead enter the underworld. It is also the place where  the Tasman Sea meets Pacific Ocean. We could see waves crashing not into the shore, but to each other:

Tasman Sea meets Pacific Ocean

The way back South, to Auckland, was pure fun. Our couch drove back almost 50 miles on a Ninty Miles Beach:

Driving on a a beach. I took this photo through the couch window

I also loved hiding in the grass. Toi tois were one of my favorite plants in New Zealand along with the cabbage trees

More toi tois

Next was the trip to Coromandel Peninsula to see Cathedral Cove and Hot Water Beach. It was a very hot day and we struggled trying to cover ourselves from burning sun. I didn’t have a hat and my ears were burning, so on a walk I covered myself with the scarf I thought I would need if the day was windy:

Sun protection

Cathedral Cove was worth walking and suffering:

Next was Hot Water Beach. Its name comes from underground hot springs which filter up through the sand between the high and low water tidal reaches. We all had shovels and dag our own holes. The water that comes from underground is about +60C and feels hot so we needed to dilute it with the water from the ocean:

Digging…

After natural sauna we came back to Auckland refreshed and were ready for more adventures the next day. But I will stop here for now and will continue tomorrow.

 

Comments

  1. Thanks , Maryte! So special, so exciting. Well, good to see th plants and part of green world in different way!

  2. Dėkui Maryte. Amazing journey and the best writing!

  3. Wow! What fascinating journey! Thank you for sharing !

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