Thanks to one of those lucky emails you write to say hello to a long lost friend to thank him for the idea of visiting a place that used to seem far, far away, I have landed here, in Onemana near Whangamata on the Coromandel Peninsula. Thank you, Eric Hollings, and thank you thank you thank you to your generous parents Holly and Jeff. This is amazing.
To say that this place is beautiful is to use words that were created by people who had never seen this level of beauty. There's a reason that Eskimos have 100 words for snow (or so I'm told, I don't actually know the real number if one exists), and there should be 100 Maori and Kiwi words for beauty. At least for the colors blue and green. Looking out at the hills I can count nearly two dozen different shades.
This weekend is the Beach Hop, where thousands of classic car enthusiasts get together to show off their cars, dance to bands, wear 50's garb, and basically go back in time for a bit to celebrate what once was. I'm doing a much needed load of laundry, booking a hotel or two, planning my kayaking trip, and generally just relaxing in paradise before I head down to the beach and to the cars. There will be pictures. Oh so many pictures of the cars. I can't wait.
Tomorrow I'm kayaking out and around Hahei Beach. We'll stop in Cathedral Cove to see the arch that started this whole conversation in the first place. I'm really excited to get back in the water. Tomorrow is kayaking, and then starting Monday, I'll be up in Cairns near the Great Barrier Reef for snorkeling and diving and general water sports. I know I'm taking at least one trip out to the reef and one into the Outback, but I may double down on both. We'll see.