Friday, December 27, 2013

Up a hill again......and now rain.....

Well Christmas has come and gone!
Had a great day at my niece Tracy’s place with her family Riley and Abby, her brother Tony and his family Nat, Xavier and Sebastian. Their brother David and Tina with their two boys dropped by for a visit.  We also had my sisters Lorna (Tracy, Tony and David’s mum) with her husband Gary, Valerie and Deb dropped in for a while with her son Cameron. We also had Gary’s mum and dad and two of his brothers and his sister. Also my son James and his family arrived in the afternoon.
A fun day with water fights (loads of water pistols) and heaps of food! The kids had loads of presents to play with so it was pretty easy to keep them occupied.

Boxing Day I headed out to the Glenbervie Mountainbike track and had a bit of a blat.
It’s quite narrow and a bit overgrown in places but not a bad little workout.
At Glenbervie mountain bike track

From there I went cross country along the Mt Tiger Road through to the Whangarei Heads and headed to Manganese Point which is a NZMCA park.
Parked at Manganese Point

Looking up the harbour north towards Whangarei

Looking south towards Whangarei Heads

An awesome spot and did some kayak fishing (haha) and then later on when the tide was in tried my hand at surfcasting from the rocks. And I caught a fish!! (well you might call it a fi….) it was a mackerel about 6” long. It got a reprieve and got sent back to grow some more.
A lovely evening was spent there chatting to various people and enjoying the views.

Friday was spent kayaking again and trying to catch these elusive things called fish. Had a great paddle around the bays and out halfway across the Whangarei Harbour. Learnt how to use the sea anchor as well as the bottom anchor. The sea anchor worked well holding me pretty steady against the wind and tide.
Had a rather interesting interruption during the late afternoon when one of the local houses decided it didn’t like being left all alone and decided to blast out its alarm for about 15 mins! Not nice at all.

This morning I headed out early to Mt Manaia to have a walk up to the top. 
At the carpark heading to the Mt Manaia walk

Not as bad as Mt Te Aroha but a heck of a lot of stairs. 

The view at the top was amazing. I had a feeling that the track was different to the one that I had climbed some 40 years ago. I recalled going up the north western slopes and climbing up a very steep chimney on ropes and then getting to the very top via some pretty severe climbing. The track today goes around the other side of the mountain on the south east side, up stairs and stairs and stairs and then along the ridge past what we used to call The Sisters, not sure if they are still called that these days.
Looking towards Mt Lion from one of The Sisters

One of The Sisters

View on the way up

At the point where you can go no further, they have built a structure to get up onto one of the flat outcrops well below the true summit of the mountain, which if I remember was about 8ft in diameter. Must check the photo box and find them. I know I have some in there somewhere. The reason is that the local Māori used to lay out the chieftains on the tops of the highest peaks so it is a sacred (tapu) site, so you cannot get up there anymore.
As high as you can get....

Looking south from the top platform

Looking across the harbour to the refinery and port area

The top!

Looking down towards the port and refinery

Looking northerly up the harbour towards One Tree Point

As I left I met up with a couple out to walk to the top. It was his birthday and they were Americans living locally. He was hoping that the mountain didn’t do him in on his birthday! I left them behind as they were travelling slowly. On the way up I passed a woman coming down and then on my way down came across the American couple about 20 mins from the top. Pretty buggered but determined to get there. From there on it was like peak hour traffic. One family group with about 3 young girls wanted me to tell them that the top was just around the corner….like George Washington, I couldn’t tell a lie, but did sugar coat the truth just a little. Had a chat to an older couple about what the track used to be like and they agreed with my recollection about it going up the other side and apparently it was still there until recently when there was a major slip and they have now closed it.
Looking back up the mountain

Main peak and The Sisters

I could see the weather starting to close in so after I came down I headed out to Ocean Beach wanting to stay the night out there, but found that I couldn’t fit the bus into the car parking spaces so as the weather was heading south I decided not to park in the grass paddock risking not being able to get out later.
So I then headed back to Parua Bay and headed to the NZMCA POP site at the Whangarei Boating Club and am now sitting looking out the window at the grey day after baking some muffins for afternoon tea.

It seems quite a busy spot here with caravans and motorhomes arriving pretty constantly. There is an interesting caravan parked next door. It arrived and I thought it was simply a pop top, but oh no. It unfolded up and forward, then up and back. A bit like a transformer….. the name on the side is TrailManor. 

The red and orange outlines sit over the top of the blue piece and the green bits swing out. Quite fascinating to watch. It come in the size of the blue bit.

Not sure how long I will be here, but might just take a day's rest!