A brief lull here while I prepare for the Heart Politic retreat. Unlikely to be taking pictures, well maybe. There are at least 30 people attending so lots of conversations possible about... well I am not exactly sure. Community creation?
Yesterday I drove south and west missing the main turnoff and proceeded along a road replete with sheep farms (sheep on the road), cattle farms and clearcuts along the east face of a mountainside. The one lane bridge continues to surprise me as I drive along these lonely roads. The advantage of avoiding the highway is that I can slow down to look at stuff without pissing off the folks behind me. I did trust that I was heading in the right direction, sometimes it seems to much trouble to stop, change glasses and look at the map. Eventually I did when arriving at a fork where I discovered that my next destination would be Goat Island Marine Reserve(Park) To get there I had to climb a very narrow (one lane in places) gravel road up and up. Pavement at the top and a great view of the Whangateau Harbour and sandy beach stretching south. Then down a very windy, steep road to the reserve where there were loads of people all getting into the water in wetsuits, with snorkels etc to view the incredible underwater landscape. Some good signage describing what was there and yes plenty of folks soaking up sunshine in appropriate attire. Seeing many folks with tattoos of all descriptions, including facial. The van started, I say a little prayer (another song title?) everytime it does.And I proceeded through Leigh, Whangateau and on to Warkworth where major construction on the highway had me miss my turn. I continued on the highway for awhile then turned back and had a terrible lunch at the Honey Farm. I bought some honey (how could I resist avocado honey?) and mead after trying 4 different types, mostly sweet (I don't feel so bad now!). Eventually locating the road I wanted. I drove over the sweetest little one lane bridge imaginable, of course no where to stop and I wasn't sure yet I was on the correct road. It was curved , no handrail about 18 inches off the streambed which also curved with large flat rocks spaced strategically down in a treelined hollow. Beautiful. Continuing south through seemingly endless sheep and cattle ranches past places called Woodcocks, Aturoa and Komokoriki. I stopped briefly in Helensville, to read the map. My destination, Muriwai beach where treacherous tides and big surf roll across black sand. Not exactly black like in Crofton it is also home to a large Gannet colony. Along the road I saw a huge white bird fly into the gum trees, a Cockatoo? likely. Again lots of people although parking was easier. I wandered around below the Gannet colony only later realizing how close I came to having white hair. Bought some organic veggies at a roadside stand and proceeded forward into rush hour or at least more traffic than I care to be part of. I was heading for the East coast again, a small town north of Albany, Torbay. Once again I felt lost as I kept up with the stream, flying by the seat of my pants and hurried glances at a better map but one without the names that were coming up on the signs. The sun being in the north,I am sure, is confusing my inner compass. My instincts and memory eventually got me here, where once again I did the telephone game. Dennis has kindly given me another phone which I hope will work better.