After a good breakfast at the caravan park, we headed off up the coast and turned down pretty much any road that headed towards the water. Some never made it as they dead-ended at ocean front farms that rolled away up the coast, but one turn took us to Aranga, where we just marvelled at the little beach front enclave and the peaceful setting. Then I realized I left my spare camera battery at the caravan park and had to drive back 45 minutes to get it. Fortunately, we hadn't gone that dar, and the campground for the Waipoa forest was just about an hour from where I'd left my battery.
The next morning, I actually had to head back to Aranga, because, my shorts had fallen out of the car. As you can see from the photos, Sumit had gotten caught in a wave and his pants were soaked
. I offered him the shorts. However, rather than change into them, he put on another pair of jeans because he thought we'd be taking more pictures. My shorts fell out of the car in the shuffle.
If these weren't my "travel shorts" and they hadn't come with meonthe Camino de Santiago in Spain, to South America, Africa, Australia, and now New Zealand, I might have left them. But being the sentimental sort that I am, I awoke at 6:30 the next morning to drive the 20 mintues back to Aranga to retrieve the.. They were there. Soaking wet, but there none the less.
I was about to head back to camp, when I noticed a sign for "Manganui Bluff - 640m." Always one to climb a hill for a different look at things, I set off up the bluff. It was after about 30 minutes, I realized the 640m referred to the altitude of said bluff and not the length of the trail. I finally reached the top Fully an hour after I started, and was treated to a stunning early morning view of the coast.
And for those of you looking for a good way to get the blood pumping in the morning, nothing does it like spooking a few feral pigs in murky pre-cambrian vegetation. Let's just say I almost marked the trail when the snorted and crashed across the trail in front of me!