We’re leaving the Tongariro National Park and making a bee-line for Auckland (it’s not our favorite part of NZ, but it’s from whence we must, alas, depart). This trip back was particularly interesting because, inadvertently, we wandered through what must be life lived within a cloud. Not exactly heaven-on-earth with harps and all that, but certainly a ghostly, atmospheric world. If you lived here, however, it must be both atmospheric and an absolute royal pain in the patootie. I confess I’m surmising here, but I’ll bet I’m right. I showed you these interesting pictures in the previous post (October 16, 2014; Tongariro Alpine Crossing – My NZ Highlight):
The first picture is from our hotel Chateau Tongariro, in the evening, the second from the volcanoes of the Tongariro Alpine Crossing the next day. On both days one sees a valley absolutely (and picturesquely) submerged in clouds. So on the 3rd day, on the way back to Auckland, what do we encounter, besides the usual NZ rural splendor, shown to the left? We encounter a valley in clouds. As shown below, a BIG valley, with clouds going to the horizon in all directions. As our road goes up and down hills, and we go in-and-out of white, we pass farms in the mist, with farmers working away like all is normal. Sometimes the air is clear, with a white ceiling; most of the time the cloud swirls around, and the world is in
soft focus, with filtered light, mostly in shades of gray. It would be interesting to smooze with the locals in a bar about life here, but we must press on.
Finally we are in Auckland, where we sell back our trusty car, donate a bunch of stuff to the Salvation Army, and get ready to depart. We will miss NZ! A final look at Auckland, an OK city in an amazingly beautiful country.
Before I close out this NZ chapter in our adventures, let me share with you again the beautiful Ruby Bay; we rented a house there and lived in it for about 4 months. It was a bit of paradise! The (many) pictures below were mostly taken from the house itself. To us, the views were spectacularly, impossibly beautiful, captivating us each day. I said above, “share with you again” because I have already shown you other amazing views of Ruby Bay (Feb 17, 2014; “Receding hills, view from Ruby Bay balcony“). These are all new pictures, and I could easily – oh, believe me! – easily have included twice as many, and more! Of course the pictures below are more than any sane person would want to see (they’re for us), but look at a few – and be amazed, like we were. Ask why we left (they made us!). The pictures are categorized by view from our house, looking in different directions at different landmarks.
The Islands In The Distance
The Mountain Across The Bay
The City of Nelson, Across the Bay
Rabbit Island, Nearby
Sky and Ocean
Good Bye, New Zealand! We miss you!
Next stop: The UK