77 heißt ‚Grüß Gott‘ …
We were driving from Napier to Stratford, Taranaki a couple of days ago and that was somewhat frightening. First of all, I saw this billboard on the side of the road for „SS showers“. That would be a complicated sell in Germany. Next was a billboard for „SS homes“. So I was starting to worry whether we’d ended up in South America or Sachsen through a wormhole or something. Then we made a late breakfast stop in Woodville and I’m not kidding now, the name of the Café was „Café 88“. Hmm. Maybe all these stories about AH hiding beneath Antarctica weren’t so bullshit after all, just a few sea miles off? But the folks at the cafe were really nice kiwis, so it was maybe just a coincidence. BUT! when we checked into our motel in Stratford, the Dutch owner greeted me with a friendly „Deutschland über alles“, so I’m not sure any more.
The motel was a great place to stay, only ten dollars more than the hostel, clean, well maintained, friendly folks, good location on the highway. And great towels. 😉 it’s called Broadway Lodge, should you ever need a bed in Stratford.
When we arrived Mt Taranaki was shrouded in clouds, as usual. So we did a few shorter hikes around Dawson falls that day and went to bed early to get an alpine start on Sunday morning. We were hiking up fantham’s peak during sunrise, what a beautiful light, beautiful views, no clouds. And what a wise decision, since it is quite a scramble up to the peak, like walking up a dune sometimes, only more painful if you slip and fall on the volcanic gravel. But well worth it, beautiful views of Taranaki and even Mt Ruapehu over in Tongariro. Half an hour after we’d started to descent again, mostly on our arses, the clouds started to roll in, so great timing. In the afternoon, we drove to Fitzroy beach and I played around with Harald for an hour. Great waves, really powerful, good swell, nice rides. Sounds like a perfect day? It sure was. Can’t get any better.
Btw, did I tell you that we’ve named my board ‚Harald‘? I’ve been having quite a bit of fun with Harald these days, great waves at ocean beach near Napier as well. That’s another killer beach, endless, great breaks, no one around.