New Zealand: Day 5 – Coromandel Peninsula and country roads

Today was a good day. I went on a road trip, to the East coast of the North Island along the Coromandel Peninsula. I called the rental car company this morning, booked a car, convinced the agent to give the satnav to me for free (he hid it in the car so his boss wouldn’t find out) – and off I went. When I entered my destination into the satnav, it said ‘ your destination is not on a paved road’. Errm, OK – does that mean I should have hired a 4×4? 🙂

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It also said, it is a 2.5hrs drive, 170 km. Eek! I hadn’t thought this through, obviously, but there was no turning back now. I was expected, and I needed to get out and do this. I felt a little nervous, more about not really knowing where I am going, and the madness of sitting in the car for 5hrs. My goodness, I drove through absolutely stunning countryside. With every turn, getting to the top of the next hill I let out a big sigh of amazement and joy. So pretty. And those views! The weather today was perfect, clear sky, I could see for miles.

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One part of the trip led me through a rather hilly area, with small roads leading through the hills in zick-zack.  The vegetation around there was a lush green, very dense forest. It looked as if I was in some rainforest in Central America, possibly because of the large fern or palm trees amongst big evergreens and leafy trees. Such a joy!

And I got some much needed hugs today! I visited my friend’s parents, who live at the said place, off the paved roads. They have a wonderful house with a fantastic garden facing the mountains. We said on the veranda, drinking coffee, eating lunch and chatting. I had never met them before, but they welcomed me into their home with open arms. Literally. Thank you Anne and John! I still can’t quite shake off the feeling of anxiety, but today was a good day for my soul.

I also just met my tour group and guides. There seem to be a few fun ones amongst them, and a few characters. Fingers crossed all will end well. More about them tomorrow.

Edit: On our way home from dinner we passed a group of boys who stood in front of the cars at a traffic light, performing a Haka. They did it really well! We applauded 🙂

Links: Coromandel Peninsula

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