Welcome to the Maunie of Ardwall blog

This is the blog of Maunie of Ardwall. After a six-year adventure sailing from Dartmouth to Australia, we are now back in Britain.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Swimming in two seas

Our trip up to Cape Reinga at the northern tip of North Island has been pretty awesome - some great campsites and some strenuous hikes with wonderful views. Graham even managed to swim in the Tasman Sea (west side of the cape) and the Pacific Ocean (east side) on the same day. Di focused on the surf on the Pacific side, which was a challenging and exhillerating swim. Here are a few photos:

Sunset at a lovely beach-side camp, 5km east of Cape Reinga

A view of the camp, with its own surf beach, as we hike up towards the cape

The lighthouse. The promontory to the right is sacred to the Maori - it's the place where their spirits slide down the roots of a Puhutukawa tree to their spiritual home Hawaiki

Less spiritual work, perhaps. A Maori workman scrapes stickers thoughtfully added by backpackers and tourists to the inevitable signpost. London is, by the way, 18,029km as the crow flies.

The dramatic west coast, at the entrance to Hokianga harbour

A playful seal entertains us at our latest camp, on the southern tip of the northern entrance to the Kaipara harbour
We've driven south along the west coast, known as the Kauri Coast because some of the best forests of these imposing trees remain here after years of logging operations that almost wiped them out elsewhere. Tomorrow we'll stop at one of the surf beaches further south before heading through Auckland to meet up with friends in Tauranga. Thanks to the good weather and plenty of practice, camping on top of Horace the Honda has been a doddle and we've cooked some great suppers on the two-burner gas stove. We are now almost half-way through our self-imposed Alcohol-Free January and are coping remarkably well. However, judging by the photo below, Di's OCD is kicking in a bit:

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