I don’t believe in safety nets strung below that make it alright to let go

New Zealand – Taranaki / It seems like there is an endless barrage of images that my camera can’t stop churning out to remind me of our adventures in New Zealand. North Island was rainy but it sure was beautiful – and the mist and hints of gray make it easier for me to get away with naming my blog posts after more forlorn-sounding song lyrics, as if I needed more excuses to do so.

I have to admit, in our week on the North Island, even after driving around Mt. Taranaki’s entire volcanic circumference, we still failed to see this beautiful cone-shaped beauty, as it was hiding behind clouds, even on the sunniest day we got to enjoy. Alas, we gave up and made our way back to Waikato to finally submit ourselves to our (seemingly) endless walking across the Tongariro Crossing. I never quite forgot about beautifully mysterious Mt. Taranaki though, and so, on the day we flew from Auckland to Christchurch, I peeked out of my window in half-bored anticipation, expecting a stunning view of the typical New Zealand beauty, and was met – in my delight – with a bird’s eye view of a stunning, and breathtakingly perfect view of the top of Mt. Taranaki.

When Taranaki conceals himself with rainclouds, he is said to be crying for his lost love, and during spectacular sunsets, he is said to be displaying himself to her. More HERE about this volcano’s tragic love story, according to Māori mythology. 

It was still raining like crazy when we reached Egmont National Park, but, determined as we are, Frank packed me into a $2 supermarket raincoat in Big Bird yellow and we found one trail that didn’t have to cross flooded waters, and decided that was THE one. It was the Kapuni Loop Track, following the Kapuni River down to Dawson Falls. We hiked through this amazingly lush wonderlandish forest, complete with mossy tracks and beautifully draped giant ferns perfectly framing the walking path.

I felt a bit like a lost pixie, and probably looked it too.

As luck would have it, as soon as we were on our way our of Taranaki, the sun started to show herself. We saw our first sunset, and were practically being chased by the sun as we made our way back to the East. It was like leaving the Shire, and the horizon looked sketchy and dark and not very inviting at all. But what awaited us at the end of those clouds was totally worth the wait. If you haven’t yet, feast your eyes upon the Emerald Lakes in my last post. TOTALLY. WORTH. THE RAIN.

I guess the unfriendly weather up north was meant to show us an extreme contrast of New Zealand’s weather conditions. If I could give you one tip about traveling Middle Earth, it is this:

  1. always bring a rain coat
  2. also, always bring mosquito spray because SAND FLIES. (TRUST ME ON THIS)

PS: As you can see below: who says van life can’t be healthy?

XO

smooches,

Dane

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An iPhone photo of this beauty before I lost sight of her

 

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driving out of the Shire and back into Mordor

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beautiful mossy pathways

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It was still raining like crazy when we reached Egmont National Park, but, determined as we are, Frank packed me into a $2 supermarket raincoat in Big Bird yellow and we found one trail that didn’t have to cross flooded waters, and decided that was THE one. It was the Kapuni Loop Track, following the Kapuni River down to Dawson Falls. We hiked through this amazingly lush wonderlandish forest, complete with mossy tracks and beautifully draped giant ferns perfectly framing the walking path.

I felt a bit like a lost pixie, and probably looked it too.

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found a goblin in the goblin forest

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perfect vanlife power-breakfasts – even our peanut butter was laced with chia seeds

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