Well, week two in New Zealand wasn't as eventful as week one, but it was nice to just lay back and relax a bit. We started the week with a trip to the beach, which was great, minus the horrible sunburn. I guess I shouldn't complain though, cause the weather here is BEAUTIFUL. ALL THE TIME. It's great. :-)
A bunch of us took a ferry to Mount Rangitoto, which is a small island off the cost of Auckland. It was a long, arduous hike to the very top, and I was exhausted by the time I got there, but Man, was it worth it! The view from the summit of Mount Rangitoto was incredible, and I could see all of Auckland and the surrounding area in crystal clear detail. A truly breathtaking experience.
Orientation. Kinda boring, and a waste of time (in my opinion). After orientation, we hiked the coast-to-coast walkway, all the way out to the Tasman Sea. On the way there we hiked up Mount Eden again, and got yelled at for climbing halfway down the crater, apparently ignoring the not-well-posted signs forbidding it. Oops. We then walked to a place called One Tree Hill, which, surprisingly, was not crawling with sexually promiscuous teenagers, as the show would have you believe. After that we continued walking until we reached the Tasman Sea, which we were not able to jump into, which severely furthered my fatigue. All was made well, however, with a spot of Hokey Pokey ice cream and a bus ride home. The whole hike was something like 10 miles, and I was beat by the end of it. If there's one thing this trip has done for me it's forcing me to exercise. :-)
Everyone went to the beach, while I rested and watched LOST. Everybody deserves a break now and then, eh?
A group of us got up at the crack of dawn and headed down to the Sky Tower to meet our guide. We then traveled to a place called Piha Beach about 40 minutes out of Auckland for a fun-filled day of SURFING! Now, mind you, I am not at all athletic, and I had never once surfed before, so I was prepared for a challenge. After a 15-minute lesson, it was time to hit the water. The hardest part was timing the wave correctly and knowing when it was time to jump up on the board. Once I got that down, I actually got a couple of pretty smooth runs in. All in all, the weather was great, the waves were gnarly, and it was an awesome day; something I will definitely do again. :-)
I can't remember what I did Thursday or Friday. Must not have been very exciting.
The gang left early in the morning for Motutapu Island, ready to camp out for the night. I, being the genius I am, didn't bring any food or camping gear. Talk about roughing it. I had a great day just hanging on the beach, looking for shells, and climbing all over big rocks, but by the end of it, I was tired and hungry, so I wimped out and took the ferry back home. Good thing I did though, cause the next morning, a tsunami hit New Zealand. Of course, when I say "hit," I mean a wave smaller than the ones I surfed leisurely strolled into Auckland Harbor. My heart goes out to those places that actually WERE affected by it, but the "tsunami" that hit us was not worth all the hype.
Panoramic shot of the bay at Motutapu.
Thanks to Joline for helping me make this. :-)
Another lazy day hanging around the apartment. Didn't do much, but I figured I deserved one last break before school started on Monday, right?
That's all for now! I'll update again this week to let you know how my first week of Uni went!