Part I -- Part II -- Part III -- Part IV -- Part V
...Our camera failing quickly, and without a way to charge it, we plugged on at a decent clip to make it to Cape Reinga by 10:30am. This is the northernmost point in the whole country, and it is where you can see the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean meet.
There is more to the Cape than the fact that it is simply the most north a person can go by road ("road" being relative -- that last 10 miles are little more than gravel).
At Cape Reinga interest always has been focused on the small promontory and, more particularly, on a certain pohutukawa tree which grows out of its eastern side. According to ancient lore, this was final departure point for the spirit of the Maori. It was said that the spirit, after travelling up the west coast to a spot a few miles south of Cape Maria van Diemen, continued overland to the western end of Spirits Bay and eventually reached the pohutukawa tree. There it descended the roots and entered the sea. (This tree is reputed to have been in position for about 800 years and is said never to have blossomed.) The spirit surfaced at Manawatawi (the Great King Island) and, after a farewell look at the land of the living, descended again to the depths and continued its journey to the other world.
It had been quite a long week, and there was only one more thing to do before heading back south: We wanted to hit the two shorelines in one day, either to sunbathe or to swim. Here are the two pictures of Dizzle coming out of the water, "Baywatch"-style:
After swimming in the Tasman Sea.
After taking a dip in the Pacific, one hour later.
At this point, the camera died, so unfortunately, the last two days will be mostly text.
We had a brochure showing a cheapy campsite near the Mangawhai Heads. It was about a 1/2 hour off the main road, but the price was right, and we needed to put some ground behind us (plus, hot showers.), so we hightailed it South and made it before dark.
Here, Baby G had a rough night's sleep, and only managed to score about 3 good hours. Dizzle, on the other hand, got a whopping 5 or so, as sleeping in a tent for a week can really bruise bones you didn't know could bruise. Oh, and it rained all night, too.
...to be continued...