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Friday, October 14, 2011

12th Oct – Grey Day

The day started badly. Lashing down with rain again. I didn’t go running (again) so tomorrow a new day and a new start. I washed up (as is a pre-requisite in a camper van) and the sink blocked on emptying. That wouldn’t normally be a problem. I’d get a plunger and away we’d go. However, in a camper van, you have to drive the sink full of water to the hardware store. The camp site was at the bottom of the hill, and it was a gravel road to the top. Now I have to wash all the towels, as the lot got wet mopping up the water. The plunger worked, so it will be coming back with me – I want to see the faces at passport control, when it goes through the x-ray machine.

After sorting the sink, the day cheered up as well, although the sun wasn’t seen all day. I travelled north up the eastside of Coromandel to Hot Water Beach. As it was spitting with rain, there weren’t many people about. If you dig a hole on this beach at a certain point, ahot spring filld the hole and you can have a spa bath.As there were no people around, and the map was not particularly clear on where the spring on the beach was, I had no hope of finding the right spot, as so I didn’t dig.

From there I drove up the coast to Cathedral Cove. The walk to the cove is 45 minutes (on the signpost). Gauntlet down, and wearing sandals, I did it in 30 there and 35 back (well it was up hill for most of the way.) The archway was roped off (cathedral chamber) as the rainfall had left a threat of rock fills. Certainly in driving there, I had had to avoid a variety of rocks, some quite large. 

Coromandel has many pretty bays and beaches with yellow sand, with cliffs ranging from pale cream through pink and orange to red. The vegetation often comes right down to the edge of the beach, rocks, or even the sea.

My next stop was Cooks Bay, which was where Captain Cook declared the islands as British sovereign territory in 1769. It is no wonder that Cook wanted to claim it, with a sheltered bay and sandy beaches, if Coromandel was one of the first places he saw. None of the places are over commercialised – no sticks of rock, fortunes tellers etc. That adds to the charm, as many of the shops serve the locals rather than tourist trade.

I drove further up the coast from Coromandel to Colville on a twisting winding road where some of the bends were hairpin, with a speed limit of 15 kmph, sheer drops and no barriers. Another adrenalin rush of a drive.

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