Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Northland Trip - Stage Five (The Cape)

This was the biggie: the Cape. Big in two senses; quite a lot of driving (Mangonui up to the Cape and back to Henderson's Bay) and big because, despite growing up just down the road, it was my first time. Family mythology was that we had got as close as Te Kao and dad got sick of driving so we went home, but my mum has, since I went up there, confessed that we had had to abandon our previous attempt "because I forgot my lipstick". I didn't ask.

I was a little disappointed at the shopping opportunities, or lack of them. I did not expect the extravaganza built up around Niagara Falls, I didn't even expect the various shops and exhibitions at Land's End in the UK. But I would have thought that getting to the very end of New Zealand's Highway # 1 and, of course, to the end of New Zealand itself might have had a bit more celebration than
Going over that bank, there is a small celebratory sign, but still not much
There is, of course, one of New Zealand's more famous icons
Out to the west, there is a bit of a path that one can take and get down to the beach - I was feeling a bit like going for a walk, but standing on top of the hill, I had a weird panic attack, and had to sit down for fear of falling off - falling off solid land, that is. So I took a picture of New Zealand's most northern pointand returned to my lodgings at Henderson's Bay - a very quiet, out of the way place with about three houses, yet it was one of the noisiest nights I have had for a long time. It was amusing in its own way - we had a German fellow staying at the backpackers, and he had a few of his countrymen to stay. I have no idea what they thought they were doing, but around midnight, they all went outside and started making all sorts of animal noises, singing and shrieking - no actual conversation was happening. This went on for a while, until another guest yelled at them to "shut the f*** up, you f***ng morons". I'll bet he regretted it because they then mimiced him for a while, before resuming their earlier pursuits. It wasn't bothering me, because I was not sleepy anyway - the Germans had all collapsed by the time I was ready to sleep.

On the way up, I had to take a tiki tour out to Tokerau Beach and Whatuwhiwhi
- most of which seemed to be for sale
check out Hohouraand stop in at Te Kao for a fantastic ice cream.



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