Left Auckland for one last time with a brief stop at Mount Eden, another volcano that surrounds the city. New Zealand lies along a fault line which means the entire country is basically made up of volcanos and their lava that is the beautiful grass-covered rolling hills I constantly see around me. Eden attracted the cows into the bottom of it's crator to eat the dark, nutrient rich greens inside. Drove towards the beach through Thames and saw a twister forming straight ahead! The long dark cloud was far from the ground and disappeared--into thin air :) Took a walk along the coastline to Cathedral Cove but ran out of time and didn't quite make it. Glanced at a couple girl's digital pics who had just been there, ooed and awed at the gorgeous scenery we would not see and ran back to catch the bus to Hot Water Beach. Dug some holes in the sand and sat down in the holes filled with really hot water warmed from a volcano. Very exciting to have our top parts cold from the spring weather, bottom parts red hot from the thermal water, and watching the cold tides slowly come towards us just on the other side of our little pool's wall.
Onto Raglan, right on the West coast of the Northland where Lion's Tail grass sways by the coastline and the setting light casts them aglow. I am really loving the late afternoon light when every colour gets brighter and richer. The shadows become more contrasted against the objects and I feel extra inspired and warm this time of day. My walk along the beach from the city back to the hostel took the whole afternoon (although it should only take a couple hours!). I savoured every second and had one of the happiest days of my entire life. I don't know what brought it on, if it was the perfect glass like water on the beach, or the tunes I was listening too, or being completely on my own on this huge beach on this tiny, isolated country. Maybe I needed a really good day to make up for the last couple of weeks of displacement. But I felt like I was in love with the land! I skipped and walked backwards and smiled and sang and did all my taekwondo forms in the sand... oh and there was a revelation there... the marks from the forms created patterns that looked like Chinese characters! I was so amazed to see these tracks for the first time after making them for so long. Anyway, that was my day and I celebrated with a bottle of $5 NZ Shiraz. P