Te Araroa Start

Te Araroa Start

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Planning in Paihia

Well, no longer a trekking blog exactly... But I will keep posting about plans and events and review some of my gear along the way. 

Laid in bed for quite awhile, watched the news. I just didn't want to get up and go. I took my time. Finally got up and hobbled around. After resting for so long my feet could hardly bear my weight and my right knee was feeling better but was in much better shape if I kept movement to a minimum. 

I spent a couple hours on the hotel computer picking things in New Zealand I wanted to see and do. It was like starting from scratch. 

After a bit I needed to do something. I had to enjoy Paihia. The tour guide had mentioned that the start of New Zealand was in Waitangi. So I headed out. Grabbed some chicken saag at an Indian joint along the way. I embarked on the 20 minute walk to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds. (For me it ended up being more like a 30-35 minute walk.) 

It was worth the trip, knee or no. It was the place where the Maori chiefs and British signed a treaty that basically began New Zealand in 1840. Look it up! They had the actual site marked by their Navy cross, you could explore the house where the treaty was drafted. A huge, world record setting Maori war canoe was on display with the stump of the gigantic Kauri tree that the bow and stern were made from. There was also a meeting house with an awesome Maori cultural performance. They did a welcome ceremony, performed some traditional song and dance things. Lots of big eyes, foot stomping, mad gesturing, yelling, and sticking out tongues. An awesome experience! 

Then I took another nice slooooow walk back to Paihia. Ate some fish and chips, hopped back on the computer and planned, researched and booked my travel for the next few days. 

Today it's back to Auckland, then to Matamata for camping and Hobbiton, then Rotorua for zorbing and nearby is the Tongariro Alpine Crossing - a day hike with a trip up Mount Doom if I can manage it. From there I will work on planning the next leg of my trip. I will enjoy New Zealand, even if it isn't in the way I planned. It will probably be my last big vacation, as upon my return I will have to be a grown-up again and find a job. 

Off for more adventure. Throwing off those bow lines Mark Twain mentioned once... Living life as it ought to be lived. 

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