Sunday 29 August 2021

Holiday in Te Aroha and Auckland

On August 12th I had my first Covid vaccination.  At the time it was scheduled, my most local vaccination sites were the CBD and Henderson.  I decided to have it in town and to schedule it on a Thursday (Martin's regular day off) so we could spend some time exploring the waterfront together first.

We had lovely weather for it!  We started by the old ferry building, where they've built walkways over the water.  The brown horizontal things you can see inside the fencing are the edges of empty areas where you can look down at the water; the round things attached to the posts beneath the water line are mussel colonies!

me checking out an old sailing ship as we meandered through the marina area

Martin with some particularly call pavement painting.  Another area had metal crabs, pipis etc. set into the footpath - also super-cool :-)

The most interesting boat we saw: the Haunui.  Quite a startling sight amongst the more modern boats.

We biked right around to the beaches on the far side of the harbour bridge then back again, then had lunch and a rest at Martin's work before my injection.  The next day was a quiet day at home for me (and work for Martin) before the holiday proper started on Saturday when we headed down to Te Aroha.  Most of our time there was spent chatting with Martin's aunty and uncle, but we did head up the mountain on Tuesday morning :-)

Uncle Mike accompanied Martin and I for about half of what we did.  I appreciated his company and his super-detailed knowledge of the track :-)

Martin and I a bit over halfway to the lookout

At the lookout.  This is officially 45 minutes up - the summit is officially 3 hours up.

It was super-windy!

I hadn't realised there was a really extensive wetland in Te Aroha

lunch at the highest point we reached.  It took us about 15 minutes to get down to the lookout from here, so I figure we were probably a bit over 1/3 the way up.

A happy Heather :-)

We just couldn't find anywhere out of the wind to rest - the track was following a ridgeline - and it was really cold

I was fascinated by whatever this was, in an area regenerating after fire.  Spiky like some kind of conifer and forming a low-growing groundcover.  There was a lot of young lancewood in this area, too.

Martin at a rest stop on the way down

An hour or two after we got back, we heard that a Covid case had been detected in the community - and in Auckland, no less.  We figured that meant an instant Level 4 lockdown for Auckland, at least, and started to pack ready to head home.  At first we thought we'd be heading back that evening, so were relieved to hear we all had 48 hours to head home.  Sarah sent us a picture of our shopping list from the fridge back home (we'd run a lot of groceries low before heading away for the week) and Martin headed off to the local supermarket.  It was already out of toilet paper and super-low on milk, but fortunately still had most of the things we were after!

The next morning we headed home on super-quiet roads, but fortunately didn't have to deal with any checkpoints.

For the rest of the week we hung out at home, Martin did some yummy baking, and one morning we explored a new-to-us boardwalk along the Whau (between Ash Street and Canal Road).  The mangroves all seemed to be fruiting, something I don't think I'd seen/noticed before.

We then checked out a bunch of sculptures at Olympic Park and took a turn around the velodrome before heading home :-)

Not the holiday we were expecting, but still restful, refreshing and fun :-)

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