New Zealand /23

Day 1 – Rain

Today it was rainy and stormy all day, so the sailing camp I would have gone to was canceled. We went to a trampoline park to get our energy out, and the funniest part was that the roof was leaking in many places. It turns out the weather was only going to get worse. We went out to dinner later, and it was dumping buckets, literally. It could probably not have been wetter if the sky was filled with ever-filling, ever-emptying buckets. The place we went out to dinner was called Esther Restaurant, and it was delicious, especially the gluten-free bread. When we got out of dinner, a water alarm was going off in the garage where we had parked our car, and for a good reason. Soon we were driving through, at its top, about 2 feet of water.

Day 2 – Adventure

More rain today. Yesterday was the highest rain that Auckland has ever seen, in a day, in recorded history. Four people have died so far. It turns out that yesterday when we were driving through 2 feet of water, we were the lucky ones: it got up to about 4 feet of water, and people had to abandon the ship and swim out of their buses and cars.

On that note, we move to the main event today: our adventure. It all started with us wanting to go and see a waterfall. It was an hour-long drive with lots of twists and turns. When we arrived, I found that we would not have to hike for an hour, as my brother, due to misinformation, had informed me. It wasn’t even a 15-minute walk. While we were taking pictures (see below), it began to rain. At first, we sheltered under a log but then decided to book it back to the car. Once we all got in, my mom decided we should go to the beach. So we did. In the rain. Great time to build sandcastles :-). It was a black sand beach, which was interesting. I soon grew tired of the wet, so I returned to the car.

Once everyone was in, we went straight to another beach. By the time we arrived, the rain had stopped, and there was a sign that said Real Fruit Ice Cream. My dad read it as Real Fruit Ice and said, “I want to know what Real Fruit Ice is.” So we re-read the sign and got some. it was INSANE. So Good! It was ice and cream and chopped-up fruit. Yum. after this treat, we walked out onto the beach and back in due to the incoming rain. We drove back home once we realized the rain was not letting up. It was quite an adventure.

Day 3 – Church and Beach

Today we went to a wonderful church called the upper room. They were very inviting and kind, and I recommend them to everyone. After church, we went to a beach with a friend from church named Imogen, where we walked the entire beach and back, Through. The. Rain. Mi Familià es muy non inteligente. Sumos Muy Estupido. On second thought, maybe not. Either way, it is satisfying to rave in Spanish. Anyhow, once we were done, we drove around a bit, sang some musicals, and had a good time. Then we drove home.

Day 4 – Zipline Tour

Waiheke Island is a 15-minute car ride, a 50-minute ferry ride, and a 30-foot car ride away from where we are staying. Once we arrived on the island, we were too early to go to the zipline place, so we poked around and found an amazing restaurant called Batch. It is part of a nice winery which, as previously mentioned, had a delicious restaurant that was very gluten-free friendly. I personally recommend the fries. Once we were finished, we headed out to Eco Zip Adventures to start our experience. The first Zipline that we did was called Vineyard Cruise due to the fact that you are cruising over a vineyard. Quite an imaginative name. The next line has two names—city view when the skies are clear and jungle ride when it’s cloudy like today. The last one is called Big, and when you ride it, you break the Waiheke speed limit, which is fun if you’re like me and you like tearing through the air 60 meters above the forest floor. 😁. When we had zipped through the final of our skies, we were taken to the task of walking the long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long distance of Less than a Mile. During this epic 20-minute hike, we learned about the native trees. The land on which the zip line course is set is a large swath of private land on which the owners care for the 600+ year-old forest. One of the types of tree there is called a New Zealand native palm tree called the Nikau palm. This tree is a beautiful yet hard-to-find tree due to the fact that they take centuries to grow. A roughly 25-foot tree can take 150 years to grow! Once our tour was done, we went back to the mainland.

See you in Australia.