So I got up reasonably early this morning and bid my host family adieu – it was time for me to leave Waiheke Island and head north.
My final full day here in Waiheke. After this I head back to the North Island and head further north to Whangarei for a couple days. But more on that in another post, more on what I did today. While I was weeding, I came across something interesting.
Biology was my worst subject in the sciences, but that still looks like a bone to me. A vertebrae possibly? Of a previous traveller? Just kidding about that last part – the family just moved into this house…or so they say…;)
After my work had finished for the day I decided to attempt my longest and most difficult hike yet – the Northwest corner of Waiheke. Rugged and hilly, my hip bursitis hadn’t given me any pain in the last few days, so I figured I might as well go and get myself injured again while I still have the chance. Or, give the hip a full workout and see if it can take some of the harder and longer walks I have coming. Today’s hike would be about 6km and take 2 hours.
Was a busy day yesterday. In addition to my usual weeding, I also helped to build an inside sauna:
Pretty swank little thing! After my work hours were finished, I went for a bit of a drive – this time to the far east side of Waiheke Island:
I think I’m addicted to this ‘Waiheke Island Herb Spread’. I don’t know exactly what is in it. But it’s really, really good. It’s sort of pesto-y (which I love), but quite a bit different as well. It goes on most things I eat right now. Bread. Crackers. Potatoes. Pancakes. For dinner last night, I used multi-grain toast, some shredded parmesan cheese, a good helping of the herb spread….and 1/4 of an avocado per piece of bread, and created a VERY green, but utterly delicious dinner.
Even my water bottle is green (Nova Chemicals product placement!).
While I have not been fiddling today nor on a roof in any recent time, I did get to see the play today. My host family invited me to tag along to Waiheke’s community theatre, which is running Fiddler on the Roof. I was more than happy to oblige, given that rain clouds were threatening.
Not much was open given that it was Sunday, but the theatre was busy – Waiheke has 1-2 plays here at the theatre per year that are put on by this group, called the Waiheke Choral Society. It’s all locals in the theatre production, and the towns on the island are great for showing support – this was the 2nd last weekend of the run, and it appeared to still be sold out (they added another weekend to handle the demand). The theatre isn’t large in size though (100-120 people maybe).
Still, the nearly 3 hours production was *great*. And I think the locals love seeing what their neighbours can do singing, acting and production wise – there are some pretty darn talented folk on this island. I naturally didn’t take any pictures during the show, but enjoyed it a lot, as did everyone in the crowd.
Afterwards, it was nearly 5pm and I’d only finished about 2 hours of work for the day, so I headed out back for some more weeding in the dwindling twilight hours. 90 minutes later I headed indoors to have dinner, help with dishes and then fix up a grain mill (working again!). A pretty nice Sunday all told, given that it rained from 1-4pm or so. Worked out quite nicely, so here’s hoping for sunshine tomorrow!
Another day gone by here in Waiheke, another garden cleared of weeds. On top of clearing another garden of weeds I also transplanted a Hydrangea bush/small tree thing. All in all, another good 5-6 hours of work complete. The skies didn’t open up and rain as they constantly threatened to, but the sun was absent the entire day.
That didn’t stop me from taking a walk once my work was complete, around 3pm. I’d contemplated going for another drive to a different section of the island or giving my hip a try at this whole ‘walking’ thing again. I haven’t had any pain in the last couple of days and only mild soreness remains, so why not? Naturally, rather than work my way up to it I went a little bit further than planned. Beaches look closer than they actually are, okay?
I began my walk with overcast skies, my jacket, water bottle and a chocolate bar for energy (one of 5 I bought in Auckland – mmmm chocolate). I had only planned to walk to the nearby beach and back. I got to the beach in about 10 minutes of steady downhill walking along the road. The beach was completely devoid of people, I had it to myself.
I walked along the beach to the point, because my curiosity asked I ‘wonder what is around the corner?’
Oh look, another beach! A really nice big one, that looks nearby. Okay, it’s hard to see in this picture, but it’s there really. I figure I’ll just go there for a bit, it doesn’t look far and my leg is doing well.
Naturally, it turned out the beach was quite a bit further than expected, and the rocks weren’t the most easy to scramble over. Still, I made it in one piece, though the last 5 minutes I was harassed by a bird that didn’t enjoy my presence.
The red eyes mean it’s evil. Actually it just made a lot of noise and followed behind for a few minutes, making noise the entire time. I guess it didn’t like me.
I made it to the far beach. Now I know why the chicken crossed the road – to take a picture from the other side.
The beach was empty so I relaxed on a bench, read a book and enjoy the quiet (once the angry bird left me alone). I also noticed that someone had kindly taken the time reserve the bench for me. How very kind of them!
Afterwards I decided to hike it back a different way. Naturally, I got sidetracked once or twice, all in the name of exploration, really. I did make it back in time for dinner, and so far my hip doesn’t feel like it’s being stabbed with an ice-pick, so it’s an improvement over Auckland!
After finishing up my work for the day in mid-afternoon, the sun was out and I set off for a drive. I headed about 15 minutes north to the far end of the island and the largest beach – Onetangi. It didn’t take long for me to find something I liked: a place to sit, enjoy a drink and read for a bit. Oh, and a fantastic view.
Being middle of winter there weren’t many people around but the few that were out and about were enjoying the great weather of the day – sunshine and about 16C. Great for a stroll on the beach where some people had their dogs out playing.
After about 2 hours enjoying the relaxing area and walking the beach I hopped back into my car and set off on the Seaview Road back to ‘home’. And took some pictures along the way.
Waiheke is known for it’s wineries, of which there are many (more than a dozen I believe). It’s not high season for them just yet so things looked pretty quiet.
And once I got back to the Rocky Bay area where I’m staying, I took a picture of the view near the house. Not too shabby…:)