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Hey guys, what’s up?
You know how I was writing about my tsunami – anxiety in my last blog post?? Well, it’s kinda justified over here! It’s even so much of a real thing, that the government even considers using marine life, like dolphins, stingrays and sharks as an extra security system. Doesn’t make much sense to you? Well, here is the explanation: All these animals have the ability to sense vibration a lot better than we can and react to it by swimming offshore, further into the ocean. So, as soon as they sense an earthquake, a bunch of animals would suddenly be swimming further into the sea. By tagging and monitoring them, this could actually be another early tsunami – warning system for the people living close to the sea! Would be a blessing for us humans, but probably more of a torture for the animals having to get tagged, I assume.
However, I actually got up with this, because I got the once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity to feed and pet wild stingrays in the Gisborne area! They were a lot smaller than expected, but suuuuper friendly! They actually like to sit on your feet, while they get a little pet! A bit like a real pet! 😀 I was actually the only one on the tour, thus, I had plenty of opportunities to feed them. Unlike dolphins, they have a slime – layer covering their skin, making it possible for us to approach them, without them catching any bacteria from us, making them sick!
You’ve probably all heard of the Steve Irwin accident, making them seem like aggressive creatures, while it was actually just a defence mechanism, which they can only use once in their life! I’m definitely seeing them as less dangerous and actually super friendly creatures now 🙂
By the way: It’s happening again… Again, I broke a camera… Luckily, it was only my cheap waterproof camera, but I still don’t get it! I did not even touch it this time! What do I do wrong?!
Later that day, I checked out the “Rere Falls” before I ended up meeting a bunch of crazy locals at my campground, who invited me over for dinner and drinks! Super friendly people, trying to help, where they can! One of them is a 22 – year – old girl, who even invited me to her aunt’s house in Routoria!
But first, I was on a mission to chase the sunrise. It was not like any other sunrise, it was THE FIRST glimpse of a sunrise, you ever get to see in the world! I’ve been to the easternmost lighthouse of the world – the EDGE OF THE WORLD! I can proudly say, I was the first person in the world to see the sunrise since the earth is tilted!! It was just magical! Not like any other sunrise! It seemed to be a lot clearer! Or maybe that’s just me, I don’t know 😀 However, I genuinely loved it!
Gisborne itself is also the place that Captain James Cook landed on when he discovered New Zealand in 1769!
Getting to the easternmost point itself though was hard work. Many, many ks of windy road, a quick stop at a 600m long wharf, unbelievable amounts of gravel on a 20k gravel road and 800 steps later I was at the top of the “East Cape”, where you find the famous lighthouse! I’ve expected nicer views, to be honest, but .. I mean… what do you expect to see at the easternmost point, except for water! 😛 I doubt you can spot America! 😀 What I spotted instead was massive moths!! You think those big as moths only exist in movies?? Hahahah! Hell no…
Finding a camp spot later on was literally the hardest part of the day! This might be a bit subjective, but I don’t think, that caravan park owners elsewhere would suggest to head to another caravan park because the sides are too muddy! Am I wrong?? Normally, it’s all about the money isn’t it?? And by that I mean: all over the world! They usually always try o make it possible for you to stay somehow! But over here people are genuinely honest, making your wellbeing priority! I’ve never experienced that before, hence, I’m sorry, if my above statement is offensive in any way. But come one: It’s true, isn’t it?!?!
So, I picked up the girl that I met in the caravan park and together we went out to her aunt’s house. It’s quite remote. A small farm on the east coast! This half of her family is Maori. Super friendly people that just randomly invited me into their house. It’s massive and full of Maori carvings, having belonged to a prominent Maori descendant! I really don’t know, how I so often end up getting the opportunity to get to know locals, unlike many other travellers. I’m super grateful for these opportunities! They are definitely life-forming moments! 🙂
Anyway, during our little road trip, I actually got to know the girl a little bit! Believe it or not, but she got into a horrible car accident… innocent.. I’ve seen pictures.. 2 out of 5 dead! Guys, always be wary! Don’t take anything for granted! No one expects it to happen to them, but not expecting it doesn’t mean, it won’t happen! Seeing the picture of the crashed car wreck thoroughly shocked me! I can’t show it to you guys, I just hope that things like that might actually make people aware of the dangers!!
So after we had arrived, we went out to the beach in a 4wd. It was a tough track though, I tell ya! We had to go through a creek and multiple deepish crossings to actually get to that beach! That is exactly what I love! Back in my element!
It was lowtide, so Toni’s cousin decided to actually dive into the water looking for shellfish. Yes, her cousin actually jumped into the water collecting the seafood by hand and no, I didn’t do it. I was just spectator 😀
The tide came in quite soon, which is why we had to get back to the vehicle before we got washed away 😛 We then made our way back via a different track, almost getting bogged on the beach 😀
I’m sorry for making this blog post a massive preach, but I’d like to point out how welcoming indigenous people are! I’ve experienced the same in Australia! These people live together in close communities, knowing, helping and respecting each other and foreigners. You basically get treated as a part of their family, no matter, whether you actually know these people or not. I legit just got introduced to a young family, no one actually knew who I was, but regardless, the kids came and hugged me and I got kisses on the cheek! I reckon the way they live is, what is lacking in many other societies! These days many other people are just focused on themselves, trying to avoid getting out of their little bubble! I’m tired of people judging the indigenous! Guys, if you have no idea about the truth, if you haven’t experienced it, don’t go out and spread the word of others. If you don’t manage to make your own picture of a situation, don’t go and believe other people’s rumours! Of course, there are always exceptions, but please don’t put everyone in the same pot!
Consider the world as a rainbow: multiple colours living next to each other happily! That was cheesy, I know! I was just looking for a good transition, to tell you about my adventures at Rainbow Mountain between Rotorua and Taupo!
Because I have the job lined up in Taranaki, I’m slowly making my way back. Rainbow Mountain is a stop along the way, that I still wanted to see anyway! It has an elevation of about 750m and is called “Rainbow Mountain”, due to the coloured silica you’re walking on!
I was super lucky with the weather! It was pouring like crazy the day before!! You know it’s storming when the ducks vacate the lake and move into the puddle next door since there are crazy waves in the lake! Yes, waves! Kinda scary, knowing it’s a lake and not the sea…
Anyway, I climbed up Rainbow Mountain. It was definitely a challenge! The rain made it all muddy and uneven! It’s actually a mountain bike trail as well, but I wouldn’t attempt it… hell, no! There are partly massive holes! You can’t even ride your bike around them! Don’t know, how people do it, but they’ve got my respect!
I got really close to the summit when I suddenly started feeling really uneasy… But giving up was not an option for me! This doesn’t mean, I’m encouraging people to do the same! If you’re hiking on your own somewhere and you feel unwell, you should return. I’ve recently heard a story of a girl dying on a hike because she suddenly got sick and didn’t get help soon enough… So, take care, guys!
I made it, though! The views were nice, but a bit clouded! Once again, I could see how green New Zealand actually is, it’s unbelievable! A special country, for sure!
You should go and explore it yourself!