We were about half way around, so now to more of the walk in part II.
A lone yacht braves the current to sail the Pacific.
Mauao is essentially a volcanic cone. It looks more like a lava flow then a cinder cone. Here volcanic rock meets clay. In fact it looks like two different flows of lava meeting. The clay will be from later.
This all appears to be more lava rock. I like the beauty of the tree trunk pressing against the rock. A Pohutukawa.
The yacht is much faster than we are. In the distance is Slipper Island. Beyond it three freighters wait for the harbor to have a free berth. You can hardly see them.
A shower of rain obscures the island the freighters and the yacht.
The track is well benched. The surface is well graded. The edge is built to withstand the onslaught of the waves. The Pohutukawas provide shelter from the sun on sunny days. Idyllic.
A lone dinghy braves the channel for a bit of fishing. Matakana stretches away to the distant horizon with its cover of Radiata pine.
This is the entrance which large ships have to navigate. It is quite wide, certainly wider than the Panama Canal, but it is not a channel you want to negotiate at low tide or during the high current half tides.
Once more, slipper Island and three freighters are visible.
We have started to "turn the corner" of the walk. We now have a full view of the Pacific. The foreshore is typical of volcanic foreshores like those of the Coromandel. Lots of outcrops with very rugged surfaces. In between the rocks, small sandy beaches. On the shore, Kikuyu grass and Pohutukawa tree[s]. A lone sentinel keeps watch for crabs.
In the distance is a large flat Island that can also be seen from Papamoa. It stretches along the coast quite q way.
From the same vantage, a quick peak at Slipper Island, almost behind us. The freighters are still there. The clouds have nearly gone and sunshine seems to rule.
Round the next corner are the rocks that flank Mount Maunganui beach, known in the North Island as "The Mount". It is quite unknown in the South Island. Mention the "North Island down there and you will get that glazed look... "What North Island? What Mount? Certainly not Cook. We have that."
Next bit, Part III to follow. Cheers Chris the Pipemaker.