Friday, March 3, 2017

Road Trip in North Island - Day 4

26 December 2016

After paying for the campgrounds at the local grocery stores, I drove down towards KeriKeri. I was so looking forward to this place for some unknown reason. It was an amazing drive once I was off SH1. This small town of KeriKeri has a rich history and you are bound to fall in love with its beauty. I drove to Rainbow falls around 11 am. I was curiously looking for a way to head to the back of the falls. As I got near the falls, there was this board with couple of walks and I imagined one of them would lead me to the back of the falls, though, they headed in the opposite direction. I started walking hoping that at some point there would be a bridge to cross the stream to walk back towards the falls. As I walked past no such bridges for a while, I was not very sure if I was on the right track. A passer by said yes it would, while the second one I asked said no. Instead, she said that this path would take me to Stone store. It was a 4 hour walk return. And I had not come prepared for this, however I had by now walked almost half way. So I searched for Stone store images on google and the images encouraged me to continue walking.

Stone store was originally built to store and sell produces from the farms. And till today, they have preserved those huge storages for displaying. Some of them, like the rice storage racks, were similar to what I remember seeing in Kavi Mane in KuppaLi. Quiet possible, as both countries were British colonies, at some stage. The architecture of this stone store was stunning. And the day was so sunny and gorgeous that it was worth the walk.

It was 2 pm when I returned to the falls. And this time, I saw few people who had ventured to the back of the falls, but I was too tired to walk any longer. I returned to my car, had some trail food, almost giving up the idea to visit the falls. At that moment, I recalled one of my experiences of walking to the top of Onake Abbi falls in Agumbe, it was hard to miss another such opportunity. I got back to the falls and by then these people were returning. As expected, I had to cross the stream. With my hiking boots on, I ventured in and walked up the trees to reach the falls, the soil was moist making it quiet slippery. At some places I had crawl on all fours as there was not much clearing to stand upright. I clicked enough pictures and for a moment, I was standing there watching the water fall right in front of me. It was once again a magical experience watching every drop of water falling down and your eyes trying to race with the water as it drops.

After spending about 15 mins, I was back at my car with soaking wet boots. I drove into the town, hoping to grab a good lunch. The city was deserted because of Boxing day and not a single resturaunt was open. I managed to grab a subway bar and drove to Bay of Islands. I reached the Treaty of Waitangi grounds around 4 pm. This is where the British and Maori signed the Treaty and eventually the government was formed. Most interesting section in the museum is the movie which enacts the treaty and its developments. Also during Summer, there are Hangi & Concert which gives an insight into the Maori culture and you get to watch the Haka performance.

The treaty ground is huge and has amazing bush walks along the coast. As I was passing by a bush, I was greeted with a small family of birds (I couldn't recognise the bird), two adults and 5-6 yong ones. I had never seen anything like this before. The only little ones I had seen in the past were chicken, reared chickens. Seeing young ones in their habitat was a rare sight and I was so fascinated watching them run behind the adults. I stood watching them as long as they were in sight.

Bay of Islands is a busy city. After staying at quiet campsites for last few days, coming to the town din't seem good. The city was buzzing with tourists and ironically, I felt bored for the first time on this trip.  However, for the fact that I needed a hot shower and had to do my laundry, I preferred staying in the city. I checked into YHA and enjoyed a hot shower. And took a stroll to the beach in the evening, returned to my room right away not liking the vibe. I cooked some dinner and mostly stayed in my bed for the rest of the evening reading and meditating.

No comments:

Post a Comment