Sunday, February 22, 2009

February 20th-21st, On the top of New Zealand – Cape Reinga

We finally arrived at the top of the North Island today (Cape Reinga). For some reason the weather systems forgot our memo that we wanted a fantastic day to see the Cape. Clouds, fog, wind and heavy rain pelted us as we started our way down the path to the lighthouse. Finally our better judgment won out and we retreated hastily to our van (RT). Our next move was to drive a few kilometers down the road, find a campsite along the cape in this howling storm and hope that the weather would clear up by morning. (This would be our only opportunity to see the Cape since our first attempt had near zero-visibility.) The drive down to the ocean-side camp ground was on a very wet and muddy gravel road. We were starting to get concerned about being able to make it back up the road and out of camp the next morning, but we proceeded ahead with a sense of adventure and eventually spotted the camp. The camp spot was amazing - nestled in a little cove along the coast that was being battered by surf. After arriving and sitting in RT for some time there was finally a break in the rain; we jumped out and quickly set up the tents with the rain tarps securely in place just as the rain started pelting again. The night was windy and wet, but our tents did the job! A beautiful blue sky greeted us the following morning, revealing that beach and campsite were even more spectacular than we had realized night before. We spent the morning rummaging around the beach which was surrounded by bluffs and wild landscape and exploring rocky coves. In the afternoon we ventured back up the muddy road and eventually out to the Cape. The top of NZ is a very cool spot where the Abel Tasman Sea and Pacific Ocean collide! You can almost see the different colors of the two oceans and the ferocious tides as they swirl around the top of the country. We were thankful we rode out the storm the previous night, as the views from the Cape were breathtaking. We have posted some pictures of the night before (during the storm) and the day after the storm. What a difference 12 hours makes. Cheers!


Steve R said...

Well, the Estebs continue to perservere through hardship to incredible blessing. What a fitting experience for your last few days of the great adventure -- through fog and driving rain to a breathtaking view of things you were unable to see the day before.

We're missing you guys terribly and very much looking forward to spending days in debrief and enjoyment of the details of your great exploration when you return.

Jason and Cassandra said...

hey estebs!!

welcome home, we want to know when you are coming over to leavenworth and showing us a slide show?

we hope to see you soon.