Our travels have seen us meander down the east coast of New Zealand’s North Island, being side tracked on a regular basis by recommendations of fellow travellers. Of particular allure have been reports of camp sites with free or cheap electricity because that gives us the opportunity to run our fridge and recharge our electronic gizmos. (I don’t suppose Maslow thought of including the ability to access wifi as one of the most basic of human needs, but it is up there for the freedom camper along with hot showers!).
It is certainly the case that we will still only get to experience a fraction of what there is to see on North Island despite having weeks and weeks in which to travel. I can start to sympathise with the people we have met who travel constantly yet have never been to South Island and don’t see the need to – why would you when there is so much to wonder at in the North?
As a result of our easterly travels the morning of 30 November found us camping in a field on the remote Eastern Cape of New Zealand – the most eastward point of inhabited land in the Southern Hemisphere. Accordingly I decided this was my one opportunity to claim a world first (why this desperate need for significance I wonder!) so I got up at 4.30am in order to be able to say I was one of the first people in the ENTIRE WORLD to see the dawn of the last day of November. Standing in a dewy field in my pyjamas I watched the light break over the eastern horizon, taking a series of pictures (a couple below) and feeling strangely humbled by the experience. Sally thought I was mad (she sensibly did her viewing through the windows of the van without leaving her bed) and I felt a bit foolish in my pjs, but the dawning of every new day feels special. Maybe not so special if you are awake because you are working a night shift or tending a loved one, but the birds suddenly spring into song (they are tweeted-out by the time I usually get up) and the dawn chorus is without doubt magical, (and very loud!).
I say I was one of the first people in the world to see this sight but of course anyone on a boat out to sea further east would have beaten me to it, (unless they were so far out that they were the other side of the International Date Line in which case they were greeting 29 November but through the same lens with which I was greeting 30 November!). It is best nor to think about it too much. 😁
If you would like to be informed about future posts remember to sign up below. In the meantime here are a few more pictures to add to the collection, mostly of the beautiful Hawke’s Bay area and my favourite city of Napier.