Monday, 16 June 2014

Travelling again: New Zealand

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

I am a little bit behind with my blog, but shortly after my little trip to Burrum Heads I was heading for New Zealand, so not much time to catch up with blogging.

Wednesday morning started early as in 3:30am! The shuttle bus arrived early to take me to the airport.  As it wasn't busy I had plenty of time before boarding and took a photo of the rising sun trying to peek through the clouds.

Brisbane International Airport

After a short and uneventful, but not unpleasant, flight I landed in Auckland where another shuttle was waiting for me to take me to Katikati and where the sun was shining.  After a stormy night with lots of damaging winds, I might add.

Auckland International Airport

Travelling through the mountain range and the gorge changed the outlook completely.  The sun disappeared and the first raindrops came down.  Meeting up again with Dorothee was great and the first night we had to catch up on a lot of news.  The next morning we were woken by a thunderstorm and the rest of the day wasn't any better.

On Friday the clouds lifted and as I had told Dorothee of my passion for geocaching she said she would take me to some nearby places to search for them.

Our first try-out was a cache at the lookout.  I have been there many times before and it provides a fantastic view over Katikati and surroundings.


Lindemann Lookout II (Bay of Plenty)

The area was still damp and muddy from the recent rains and I had to climb around on a slope underneath the ramp of the lookout.  Not very pleasant to say the least and worse of all: no results.  I took some colourful pictures of some mushrooms instead:

Our trip to the lookout was rather late in the afternoon, so it's all we did.  On Saturday we had more time, the weather was still good and the plan was to make the short trip to Athenree.

On our way we passed the lookout again, so I had another look.  By now I had had a good look at the logs and pictures, so I was sure I knew what I was looking for, but was still unsuccessful.

The next one was

Tanner's Lookout. (Bay of Plenty)

Tanner's Lookout. (Bay of Plenty)

It was indeed a pleasant lookout and the cache was a relatively easy find after a walk of some 300 metres. The hint was not very helpful, but using common sense helped me locating the cache after all.

First or Last View, Bay of Plenty, NZ

First or Last View, Bay of Plenty, NZ

Walking around and climbing in the tree didn't help me much and I had to climb down quickly again when Dorothee said: Got it!  A sneaky hiding place indeed.  The log was soon signed and we were on our way again to the next one.

Athenree Homestead (Bay of Plenty)

Athenree Homestead (Bay of Plenty)

Again Dorothee was quick!  Looking down at my compass I walked straight past the tree in which the cache was hidden.  I was rather glad Dorothee got it out of its hiding spot, because it was covered with mud, bark and... wood lice!

The next one I couldn't find.  Dorothee stayed in the car as it was a muddy walk in the grass.  I am not too sure if my coordinates were out or what, but GZ appeared to be in a place that I couldn't reach.  Well, there were more on the list:

Athenree Walk, ( Bay of Plenty )

Athenree Walk, ( Bay of Plenty )

This was again a walk of about 300 metres, so not too long.  GZ was easily determined and the cache almost out in the open.  The log was quickly signed and the cache hidden just a tad bit better for the next person to find.

We had lunch at my favourite restaurant, The Flippin' Bear.  Not that we had planned it that way, but I remembered a little restaurant on the way to Waihi Beach and The Flippin' Bear, which used to be on the main road, had moved into this building.  Lucky me, because it's a pancake restaurant and I just love pancakes!  Dorothee had a seafood chowder, which wasn't to her liking, but my pancake, with white chocolate, icecream, cream and raspberry sauce was delicious.

After lunch we were going to try for one last cache, but unfortunately we ended up at 17 metres from GZ which was on another walkway far down below us and which could only be reached by walking the length of that one.  As we didn't feel like driving to the start of the walkway we decided to call it a day.  The cache will still be there for us to find on another day if we're in the area.

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