I Left My Heart in Whangaroa
We have arrived in the “Far North” as natives call it; we’re back on our bikes after taking a day off in the lovely wee village of Whangaroa. We stayed at a great motel and took advantage of their kayaks, a hiking trail and cafes.
It was idyllic.
Also staying at the motel was a motorcycle “gang, “The Three Amigos. They were a most welcoming bunch and we spent the evening at a local pub where the boys stood for a “great ass contest”.
Funny thought, a middle aged man with a behind – I’m not sure that exists. In fact, that is one of the most common things male customers tell me: that mother nature takes away their padding, and they can’t ride a standard bike seat anymore.
Regardless, this group and the owners of the pub and the motel were wonderful people! Worldwide, New Zealanders are known for their welcoming nature, and Ray and I can definitely attest to it. An an example, yesterday after kayaking, I pulled the boat up the beach as far as I could and two teenage girls jumped down to help me lift it up to the storage area. They just volunteered without being asked. Another example is our host in Auckland, who opened up her home to us. This is a country that makes you feel at home. At times when we are drenched from rain and looking like drowned rats, store owners who offer us directions, bus drivers ask if we are okay, this place makes you feel at home.
On our way to dinner, as the sun started to set, we got yet another blessing. The Kiwi bird is the national symbol of New Zealand. We were fortunate enough to see a group of much prettier flightless birds, the Takahe, which are bigger than the Kiwi, purple, blue and ornage. We saw a group of adults and chicks right beside the road. Totally Awesome!
The one downside was the roads. They were narrow, curvy, hilly and had no shoulders. All in all, they were pretty dangerous to ride. We left Whangaroa for Cape Reinga, a light house at the end of a ninlty mile sand dune, the northern most point of NZ. 34 degrees Latitude south.