Friday, February 9, 2018

Traveling: Every Day Isn't Postcard Perfect...

"Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference!" (Winston Churchill)

The heavy rain/overcast/fog returned before I left the Bay of Islands and headed to the most northern tip of New Zealand - Cape Reinga (route shown here).  Thankfully it's summer warm -- in the low 70's -- and I'm told by all the locals that this much rain/overcast is unseasonable -- but it doesn't dissuade me from enjoying the journey.  But to be sure, it's only the rain and driving on the left (and sitting on the opposite side of the car) that make this "adventure" travel.  This is easy traveling -- and I'm loving it even if the scenery is somewhat muted by the overcast and rain.  Everything is in English, food is familiar, people are friendly, there is a general absence of other traffic -- and it was easy to get lulled into thinking I was traveling through Northwest USA.  Even the rain made it feel like Portland-home!

I made it to the Cape Reinga lighthouse and enjoyed thinking that it was days like the day I was there that made the lighthouse so essential.  After all, if it had been a beautiful, sunny day -- arriving ships would be able to see the land mass ahead of them.  This was my view:

And, here is where attitude matters -- I wasn't bothered a bit.  I was delighted to be visiting this spot in New Zealand -- happy that I'm here in good health -- and getting to "experience" New Zealand. (Here is a 16 second video I took of my visit.)

If I just wanted to see the lighthouse in picture postcard glory -- I need only do a Google images search - which I've linked here for your (and my) viewing pleasure!  For as long as the brisk/cool wind would allow me -- I relished in thinking about the boat travel of my ancestors as they traveled from southern Switzerland to Australia in the 1850's and from Australia to the USA in 1888 (when my grandfather was 8).  It's likely he saw more days like this, as they passed through the waters around New Zealand, than postcard days!

About an hour south of Cape Reinga, I stayed at another fun and interesting AirBnB (owned by a farming couple) -- and awoke to the same weather for my 3 hour journey on Saturday, February 9.  My destination today was another AirBnb on the west coast of the Northlands of New Zealand (routing here).  I let Google Maps lead me and was pleased to find a half hour car-ferry ride on my journey.  And even though it rained the entire way -- I had great fun enjoying another "flat white," visiting with a French "Woofer" (a one year work/stay program for 20's and early 30's travelers which I've learned about from many other traveler contacts), and visiting with two older couples (one guy was 90 - living in New Zealand since I was 1) while enjoying fish and chips at a local place.  I do love the people contacts and they abound in all weather!

So tonight as I write this, I'm in another wonderful AirBnb with this 7:47pm view:
More rain is forecast for tomorrow -- but it makes little difference to me.  I'm enjoying every breath and delighted that I'm still healthy enough to make these trips.