Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Aotea (Maori for “white cloud”) Part I
Long centuries you reigned supreme upon your sea girt throne,
Undisturbed , unchallenged, unrivalled, and unknown.
‘Til restless roving men appeared and marked you for their prey,
And soon destroyed by axe and fire your beauties pass away.
I often gaze with wonder on that picture of the past,
When nature crowned you charming queen of islands unsurpassed.
I feel I’d die contented if my death could but restore to you your vanished
Beauties that have gone for evermore.
You have bound me to you strongly and I do not wonder why for I have
Loved you since I’ve known you and will love you till I die,
For your beauty of the present and your beauty of the past,
You lonely, lovely, charming,
Queen of beauty unsurpassed.
William Perry, a bushman of the Awara, Great Barrier Island
I keep a little travel log when I’m traveling. Most times I just jot down brief messages of where I’m at, dates, addresses of places, or friends I’ve visited. So the following is being written from my travel log of New Zealand. It may end up being written in more than one post.
Michael and I left San Francisco on a Friday at 8:00 pm for a direct flight to Auckland. We arrived at 5:00 in the morning on Sunday. It is normally 3 hours earlier there the next day but when we go to DST it’s 4 hours and before we left New Zealand they went off DST so now it’s 5 hours difference. Coming home we left on a Sat. for a 12 hour flight and arrived home on the same day, a bit confusing.
Jinn picked us up at the airport and took us to her house where we unpacked and repacked smaller bags for a trip to Great Barrier Island. We flew from Auckland to Great Barrier on a 14 person plane and we took Arty the dog (who I fell in love with).
We stayed at a friend of Jinn and Neil’s who has a fabulous house! Neil had fresh lobster (aka crayfish) and abalone ready for dinner then the guys left to go to the sailboat. The plan was for them to sail for 10 days while Jinn and I did our own thing.
(Above pics are the house we stayed at and below are pics of what I awoke to each day in my room)
That night the rain began. It is the beginning of Fall in the Southern Hemisphere. And it rained, the wind blew fierce, and the clouds gathered in close. The guys were anchored down in the harbor and the waters too choppy for them to take the dinghy and come ashore. Two days of this. Jinn and I stayed in our jammies one day, read, slept, ate, drank, told stories, and reminisced.
On the third day there was a promise of clearing and the guys made it ashore to come to the house and have dinner and spend the night. They took off the next morning back to the boat and Jinn and I prepared to leave the island the next day and go back to Auckland. During the night I awoke and through the window saw the sky littered with stars.
While packing up on Thursday morning we were greeted by a rainbow, a promise of sun on the horizon.