Rays and Views

The weather today was a partly cloudy with a sign of improvement. The waves at the beach were almost non-existent in the morning. The tide has been very high due to the full moon, so after breakfast I put on the snorkeling gear and headed out to see what I could see. The visibility was much better today, maybe 30′. There were a surprising number of fish, ranging from schools of small fish to one quite large grouper that was close to 3 feet long. I saw a weird looking smooth rock poking out from the seaweed and then realized it was a big string ray almost 4′ wide. Totally cool. Then I saw a reddish octopus moving along the rocks. Wow! On my way back to the beach I saw another couple smaller rays. Who knew the snorkeling was going to be good here.

I hosed off and then hung out on the deck reading my book. It has been very relaxing to hang out here in Taupo Bay. All the locals have boats that they drag down to the beach to launch with their ancient-looking tractors. I guess if you live here, it is critical to have both a boat and a tractor.

After a quick bite, we headed out to go do a hike along the Mahinepua Peninsula just south of us. It was about 40 minutes drive to get there over some narrow windy roads…big surprise. Heading down the last section to the beach was dirt and a pile of cars was coming out. One almost hit Jason and caused him to nearly go in the ditch. Driving in New Zealand is not for the faint of heart.

We parked the car and set out for the hike. The sky had cleared and it was really quite hot.

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It is very tropical in this part of New Zealand and the plant life feels like you are on a tropical island. I would best describe the weather as San Diego-like. In other words, terrible.

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Gorgeous ferns

We tramped along the track which made its way out to the peninsula and had some incredible views of the islands and inlets that make up this coastline. It is really stunning. A great place for sea kayaking for sure. We were all dreaming about buying some of the houses looking over this paradise.

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The internet described this cove as delightful — agreed!
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Happy hikers
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Amazing panoramas

We got back to the house and just hung out enjoying the view. A few days ago, we had no concerns about whether we would make it back to the States. However, today’s news had us all a bit concerned. I even started checking to see where we might want to rent a place if we end up stranded in New Zealand. Certainly, if you are going to be put on lockdown, then New Zealand is one of the best places to have to be stuck. I do miss my doggy though. Thankfully, she is in good hands with my sis.

It has been very relaxing here and despite one bad rain day, the weather has been great.

We get one more beach day tomorrow before we head back to Auckland and hopefully our flight back.







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