El Duderino

The weather has been less than stellar in Auckland since we have been here. On the ferry back from Auckland, the captain warned everyone that the following day there would be 45 knot winds so the ride in to work might be a bit rough. There was a huge storm that came up through the Tasman and pummeled New Zealand. The mountains in the South Island got 1.5 meters of snow while there was a tornado that knocked down some houses in Levin. And just FYI, Levin is the licorice capital of New Zealand.

Crews working to clear Winchester St in Levin.

In Beachlands it was howling, along with some periods of torrential rain. We lost power overnight. I know this because they have these lights in the bathroom that turn on when the power goes out. Probably a good safety precaution, but annoying when you are still jet lagged and trying to sleep through the night.

Between being very very very busy with task-oriented things like banks, investment advisors, figuring out cell phones, buying a car, and the crappy weather, we haven’t gotten out to explore much of anything. The weather was somewhat better yesterday so we finally got to go out and walk around Beachlands. It is a very lovely little community that would be great if you worked in Auckland. It’s a bit expensive though. Houses run about a million five out here.

Today the weather cleared and the wind died down to a tolerable level. Yeah! Since we had no annoying tasks on our list, we decided to go out for a hike at Duder Regional Park (or El Duderino Regional Park if you aren’t into whole brevity thing).

The Dude Abides

It was a gorgeous drive out to the park, albeit on a super narrow windy road. Although almost every road in New Zealand is a super narrow windy road so not sure it stands out as different than most.

The area is a peninsula with rolling hills and paddocks for sheep. I think there is an experimental farm on the park. There are also a few Kauri trees within the park as well which is nice because they are being seriously threatened by fungus that is killing them at an alarming rate. At the entrance to trail, there is a boot washing station that you are supposed to clean your shoes off when you enter and leave. This prevents or at least slows down the spread of the fungus. When we were in NZ in 2020, up in the Northland, almost all the Kauri forests where closed. Such a sad state of affairs.

Shoe washing station

It felt great to get out on a hike and take in the views. It was about a 4 mile hike with a little up and down, but nothing too hard. It was still blowing pretty hard at times and we also got the occasional rain storm. Typical New Zealand tramping. One thing we realize is that we have to reconfigure ourselves to be prepared for New Zealand tramping versus Colorado/Arizona. I didn’t have my rain cover for my camera, so that was a bit concerning. The temperature went from chilly to warm to chilly to warm to chilly to warm, so hiking with layers is pretty key. Eventually we will get ourselves sorted.

Rainbow and a spiffy wind-induced hair style

We hiked for about an hour and half and then headed back home. Otis is treating us well and I am happy we spent a few more bucks to get a nicer car. My tendency is to go for cheap rattletrap POS’s, but I think nobody would have been happy with that choice.

Tomorrow we have to go back into Auckland and do more boring adulting stuff. Bummer. Tuesday we will head down to Taupo in the center of the North island. It is the fly fishing mecca of the North Island, but the weather had been looking suspect so I was thinking we wouldn’t be able to get a day in. However, the forecast is now looking good so I contacted Bryce, a fly fishing guide in Tongariro area and he has availability on the 25th. I am excited to see Susanne bring in a big 5 lb rainbow!

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