Last time we visited Kerikeri, it was raining so heavily we just kept on driving north, hoping to outwit the deluge further into the Winterless North.
(We did - emerging at Cable Bay for a brief stroll.)
Today, the sun was shining. We parked opposite the Stone Store, an early settler building made of stone, with a small mission house next to it.
I am humbled when I read about the lives of early settlers, brave men and women who left their homelands to make the perilous journey to the other end of the earth. Today, there were missionaries desperate to share the good news, who left everything behind to share the gospel. And there were desperate men, the out-of-work nailers, whose lives had been destroyed by the manufacture of cut nails in America. With nothing to lose, facing only severed hardship and starvation, they too journeyed over to make new lives for themselves.
A quick trip into the town: I'm waiting for Richard outside a shop when a car pulls up and the passenger asks me if there is a MacDonalds. There is! And I can tell her where to find it! And how to manouevre round the one way system! Our five minute cycle ride along the High Street took us right past the famous fast food outlet... #justvisitingactinglikealocal
We cycled back to the van through the forest by the river...
So, continuing on, we drove towards Whananake South (neighbour to Whananake North, where we began our safari, taking a wonderful gravel road with the title Pig's Head Road), along twisting and turning roads with no stopping places and barely any turns off. Emerging on Sandy Bay, we felt like explorers sighting a new ocean for the first time..So we walked the beach, and drove some more, walked another beach, drove some more - and ended up camping on Welllington beach near where the Ngurunguru River emerges into the Whangarei harvout.
Sunsets to die for...