Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Tapapakanga Regional Park, NZ: Picture Perfect

Auckland is the biggest city in New Zealand, and it took us all morning to go from city to suburbs to countryside. Traffic was challenging, but Kiwi drivers are courteous and give us plenty of space. We haven't been honked at yet. We only had to call out to each other to stay on the left side of the road a couple of times.

The most disconcerting thing is riding along and hearing an approaching car, looking up, and having a slight adrenaline rush seeing it coming on the right. For that brief moment the mind thinks you are also on the right side and that you will in moments be playing “chicken” with oncoming traffic. Logic soon overcomes the reflexive response, until the next car comes from behind, and then you realize at the last minute it is on your side, and if it is a big truck you will be pulled into its vortex, and the adrenaline spike happens all over again.
Tarmac cutting though green countryside.
This first day out was cold and windy and threatening rain all day. Afternoon was lots of hills, and we pulled into the parking lot of Tapapakanaga Regional Park late in the afternoon. A local fisherman said the campground was closed until the next weekend, but the Park Ranger pulled in shortly and gave us permission to stay. He obviously took pity on a couple of shivering, jet-lagged Yanks.
Our coastal campsite.
We camped in a field of grass with an ocean view. The only sound all night was surf lapping on the beach. Welcome to New Zealand. 

A less than subtle hint of how to frame the photo.
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