Strolling Through Auckland Suburbs, Howich to Eastern Beach
We arrived in New Zealand yesterday at six in the morning. Most of yesterday was lost to the rigours of Jet Lag. (Thought: Wouldn’t Jet Lag be better named Jet Warp? After all, we have not lagged behind our Pacific Standard Time but warped ahead by 20 hours. Either way, my brain is lagging and my body feels warped.)
We are told that one of the best ways to counter Jet Lag is to go for a good walk in the daylight. The last time we were here, a year and a half ago, we had a lovely stroll near the sea along to a restaurant at Cockle Bay. Unfortunately, it was not open for lunch on Wednesdays. Instead, thanks to Google, we have found a restaurant in the other direction that sounds like a good alternative.
Temperatures in Auckland are presently in the same range as Vancouver, although they are at opposite ends of the seasonal spectrum, early spring here as opposed to early autumn at home. It is quite lovely to see trees bursting with blossoms rather than shifting into autumn golds and reds.
One of my first impressions of differences between New Zealand and home is the bird calls. It is a whole different dawn chorus here! I don’t know which bird is making what sound but there is one that sounds remarkably like a rusty gate swinging open. They must have some of the same birds as Hawaii because I find myself thinking I am in Maui again.
It was sunny this morning, but now the clouds have rolled in. It was still a pleasant temperature for strolling and our jackets came off everytime we found ourselves slogging up a steep hill (which was often!)
We were surprised by the open vistas on our walk. We expected the parks to be full of trees
but more often they were vast tracks of grass. The areas that were full of trees were call “Reserves.” These areas are set aside for endemic plants and animals. New Zealand has a unique and much threatened ecosystem. Many imports such as feral cats, rats, and possums have devastated much of the bird population. In fact, New Zealand is the only country I know of where it is politically correct to wear fur, as long as it is possum fur!
I loved the walk along the beach. So many shells! And the tide was so far out, it seemed like you could walk for miles. Tonight is the lunar eclipse, although the clouds are due to gather again at just the worst time. However, the full moon means an extremely low tide today.
The walk to the restaurant took about an hour (when you add in many stops for photos) and we felt we deserved our wine with lunch. The restaurant proved to be right across the street from the beach so we had a very nice view. Interesting note: The Kiwi gent at the next table had just come from British Columbia and was waxing poetic to his lunch mate about Vancouver, Kelowna, Whistler, and Jasper. Very interesting to hear a visitor’s take on our beautiful province, especially when visiting their beautiful country!
Added bonus: During the walk home, we stumbled across a pair of brightly coloured wild parakeets! We have never seen that before! (Later addition: The reason I had never seen a parakeet that colour before is, according to my bird book, those weren’t parakeets but Eastern Rosella!)
Did the long walk help with jet lag? I really don’t know. However, between the wine with lunch and the fresh air, we both had lovely snoozes in the afternoon.
Note: For those of you as addicted to good food as I am, feel free to get the details of this lunch on my other blog site: http://www.difoodie.wordpress.com