28 November 2014

Paritutu: we knocked the bugger off! {and other adventures in the Naki}

Stealing Sir Ed's famous line after climbing Everest seems a little cheeky after a 20 minute jaunt up Paritutu on our recent weekend in New Plymouth, but it was a very big challenge for an 8 and 5 year old so I think we'll just take it and use it anyhow thanks very much!

I'd only climbed Paritutu once before myself in my early twenties and I remember it being steep but possibly not quite as steep as it actually was. It's not a long hike, but it will get you puffing - and the section that has wire rope chains was a lot more of the climb than I'd remembered, possibly if I'd realised exactly how much I might have been less inclined to suggest the boys could do it. The thing is once you're halfway up, you're pretty well committed to getting to the top whether you like it or not, and perseverance is key! It is so great having the rope chains there to help pull yourself up - it definitely gives you a sense of security that you're not going to just fall off the side of the hill. 

The outlook from up the top was pretty nice with views over the Sugarloaf Islands and towards the mountain which was just tantalisingly in view. Before descending again, we had to wait a long while up top for others to make the climb as there's no real places to pass on the steepest part, all the while Mark and I were both wondering how on earth we would get the kids back down again safely - ha ha!


Actually it was much worse coming back down again, and my triceps and side muscles were crying out 'what have you done to us' for days afterwards but hey that's just my age showing I think! We took our time with Mark going first (backwards so he could hold onto Mylo) then me, and then Noah behind me. This strategy worked well and we slowly made our way back down - I was just pleased there was no-one hot on our heels to put pressure on us to hurry up!


After this epic achievement, we headed over to the port to go for a walk along the breakwater - we were serenaded by two old war planes doing acrobatics in the sky above us which was an unexpected treat and Noah (feeling most gung-ho after his recent expedition up the hill) decided that he could easily jump the gap between the big concrete blocks on the jetty. It made for some pretty cool shots!

This one below is my clear favourite of the jumping shots!

Later in the afternoon we took Gee Gee up to North Egmont and enjoyed lovely close up views of the mountain which dipped in and out of the passing cloud.

There were even views back down to New Plymouth and Paritutu - gosh it seems so small and insignificant and not a hard climb at all from this distance!

The final treat was sneak peek all the way over to Mt Ruapehu some 150km away!

So I think it's safe to say this was another action packed MNM's Adventures day out. I think it's safe to say we somehow manage to pack in a lot into a single day!

And hubby and I still had our date night at Cape Egmont to come later that evening.....!

26 November 2014

Sunrise reflections {Golden Bay}

On our last morning at Golden Bay I was up early to catch the sunrise, wild horses couldn't have kept me in bed knowing that it was the last golden opportunity I would have.

And the morning delivered in a big way.

The pools of water that lie on the beach at low tide are an incredible backdrop for sunrise reflections.

First, the most incredible pinks and deep purples appear in the blue hour, that hour before sunrise.

And as the sky lightens, the colours give way to brilliant blues, oranges and yellows as the sun creeps closer to the horizon.

The one thing that I was NOT expecting at all was the sun rising directly out the sea like a giant fireball. In my head, I'd imagined it coming up over the mountains to the right, so to see it rising directly out of the ocean gave my heart such a happy leap inside - I cannot recall EVER seeing this in my lifetime before. In Wellington we have too many hills in the way, and most of the time we visit beaches in NZ we've been on the west coast (and seen the sun go down) rather than the east so this was such a treat.


As you can see I found it impossible to stop taking photos - I just wanted to commit this beautiful sight to memory for all time!

Spending this morning down at the beach on my own couldn't have been a more perfect end to what had been the most incredible week from start to finish.

Soaking in this incredible richness of colour and seeing the sun rise up to meet me, well there just aren't words. It's a moment I'll never forget.


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