Thursday, December 11, 2014

Walking the Duder

It was such a relief to get over the assignments by the end of spring. Summer looked quite promising with the increasing temperature and the fluttering leaves on trees. The place which looked so pale so far started to show its true colors, in its literal sense. I was badly looking forward for the summer, so that I could pack my bags and explore this place which still seems so new to me. But now, it’s different, I am liking it so much more than before. Ah yea!! It’s the weather which is making the difference and my mindset too. I have finally got my mind convinced that, this is where I am now and I got to be here completely.

Well, now that the mind game was won over and the weather being in favor too, I received an invitation from my lovely host to go to Duder Regional Park in the south of Auckland. It is about 45 kms from the city and suggested to take a personal transport than taking multiple public transport and taxis to reach here. It is one among the 25 beautiful regional parks in Auckland. Ah!! You got to be guessing by now, Yes, I will make sure to visit all of them during my stay here.

It was a short and a beautiful drive towards Whitford village. The horse grazing in the fields adjacent to the roads reminded of a scene in Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara. It was indeed a beautiful sight to see a herd of sheep grazing on the fields far on the hills. We soon reached the east coast. My first experience of seeing a beach in New Zealand. It is a perfect place to spend a lazy day on the beach reading a book. We dint stop at the beach though, Duder was further ahead. We parked our car outside the park. Make sure to take a map of the park from the notice board right there. The maps comes handy when you are there for the first time and in general very informative.

It must have been around 9 am and the walk was pretty short. It won’t take too long to walk around in this park, but bet you, the sight is so beautiful at the Whakakaiwhara point that you wouldn’t mind spending a whole day there. We decided to do the Farm Loop which is 4.3 kms and walk up to Whakakaiwhara point which is an additional 2.4 kms. There is a deviation to Coastal walk which is additional 2 kms if you have time. I’m sure every bit of land here is worth visiting. So indeed an ideal walk for beginners too. Sheep are in heaps grazing on these hills, we are intruders and so they make sure to stay in their safe zone. We quickly reached the tip of the park and sat for a while watching the boats sail, few gliders fly above us and the sea changing its color.  I thoroughly enjoyed the quiet time I got here. We listened to some beautiful music on our phones and headed back.

It was an uneventful journey except for an encounter of an angry bird.  A Magpie, an Australian origin bird, seemed quite offended by our intrusion and attacked us. Might sound quite funny though. Yea, the birds mostly attack if their nests are around and if they have li’l ones or eggs. It made weird noises as it flew above us, indicating an attack. We pretty much dint know how to handle the situation. All we knew was that it had strong beaks are definitely not a bad idea getting pecked. All we could do was to try and shoo it away with our hats. Hmmm, fortunately the bird spared us for once but kept flying up there above us. After a distance, it looked bad, it was targeting us for the second time. And we did the same thing again. We managed to run from that place as far as possible and probably must have managed to leave the danger zone soon. It spared us. From here it was a nice jog down the hill to reach the car park. It wasn’t even lunch time. We leisurely drove back home and then headed out to have a yummy and filling pancakes at a strawberry farm.