On the Coromandel Peninsula

A Lonnnnng Day’s Drive – Friday’s goal was to reach Whitianga on the Coromandel Peninsula, so most of our time was spent enroute.  Of course, we took several scenic roads instead of the motorway, so that slowed us down some – and we did have to stop at Muriwai Beach,

Muriwai Beach (important geologic features, of course)

so that slowed us down even more, but we did reach Whitianga around 7 p.m. and found a comfortable suite of rooms complete w/full kitchen and two bedrooms.  We cooked our own dinner and are settling in for a nice quiet evening w/a Ranfurly beer in hand …. Ahhhh —

We made a trip to the grocery store this afternoon and bought some scroggin (Googled, scroggin is identified:  “In New Zealand, trail mix is known as scroggin or “schmogle”. The term is also used in some places in Australia but usage has only been traced back to the 1980s. Some claim the name stands for Sultanas, Carob, Raisins, Orange peel, Grains, Glucose, Imagination, Nuts; but this may be a folk etymology.”) – it’s a very satisfying snack.

Since many of you are quite concerned about Gerry’s trusty pack, I feel I must put your fears to rest:   the seam that came undone originally held one of the shoulder straps, so it was serious business that needed timely tending.  During the evening immediately after the seam separation event, it occurred to me that even tho’ we had no heavy-duty thread, we did have dental floss.  Soooo, Gerry set to work and soon had the pack fully functional – not only is the repaired pack once again strong and stable (see photo below), but it is also minty fresh.

Splendid Saturday – Gerry has often commented during our first week here in NZ that it’s a boater’s paradise; there are so many quiet, sheltered coves, bays and inlets where folks can fully utilize and enjoy the water.  We are in one such place; Whitianga is in Mercury Bay (so called because Captain Cook stopped here to plot Mercury’s transit across the sun in November 1769), “one of the most idyllic marine playgrounds in the country”.  Usually PR is greater than the reality, but not so here – it is gorgeous and folks are out in droves boating, swimming, snorkeling and tubing.

Overlooking Mercury Bay

Gerry, of course, is wading out to an ash flow tuff overhang and taking pix to use in his classes – can’t take the geologist out of the boy no matter where he is.

Mercury Bay ash flow tuff overhang

We had a lovely low-key day during which we hiked all around Mercury Bay,

View of Whitianga from acorss Mercury Bay

had lunch at the spot where in 1970, Queen Elizabeth commemorated the bi-centennial of Cook’s planting the British flag on NZ soil,

Lunchtime (note Gerry's repaired pack at Jan's feet).

and had a wonderful ice cream cone at Snapper Jack’s fish and chips shop.  Dinner tonight will include local organic corn on the cob, a salad of oak leaf lettuce, vine-ripened tomatoes, a taste of NZ’s own creamy walnut cheese, and fresh kiwi fruit for dessert.  Come on over and join us!

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