Before checking out, Atie made breakfast (fried egg sandwich) and I cooked lunch/dinner (spaghetti and spicy sauce with basil), with Mira taking care of the dishes. We save money this way, and we don’t have to think about stopping somewhere for food. After that, we stopped by the i-Site for a moment, taking pictures of the beautiful coast.
I forgot to mention in my earlier account of the first day that my camera decided it wanted to be stupid and vibrated, getting ok only once in a while. The vibration sucked. It’s hard to take pictures when it insisted on vibrating like a cellphone on vibe + ring mode. Alhamdulillah, it decided to behave a little bit better this day. However, most of the pictures ended up being taken by Mira’s camera. The difference can be seen from the colour, but not that I minded much. Pictures are still pictures.
On the way out of Paihia, we stopped by Cable Bay to take pictures. I so love the blue sea. Maybe this road trip is making me love the colour blue more than I should. Looking at the sandy beach, I couldn’t help but think that taking a dip at this particular stop seemed way better than the one we took in Paihia the day before. Hurrr…
We learn not to believe the map on this second day. Seriously, the map showed straight, sealed road. Halfway through from Paihia to Cape Reinga, the oad started getting worse by every kilometres. Sealed roads? Yeah, sure. They’re still in the process of putting new seals. Poor Baby (the nickname Atie gave the car) had to endure a long journey via unsealed roads. The road was full of twists and turns, making us all dizzy by the time we reached our destination.
Cape Reinga was breathtaking. Simply breathtaking. The deep blue sea. The azure sky. The wind. Everything. So beautiful that the one name that entered our minds straight away was Allah the Almighty. We got to see the meeting point of the waves. You can see waves from different directions meet in the middle of the sea.In Maori culture, it is also the meeting place of deceased spirits before they move on.
Oh, the wind was exceptionally strong there. The sun was shining, but it was very cold. We all could barely walk without hearing our teeth chattering. You seriously, seriously cannot go to the lighthouse without a sweater. Unless, maybe, if you live in the south pole.
The lighthouse was smaller than I thought, but it was cute nonetheless.
On the way back from Cape Reinga, we took a brief detour to 90 Miles Beach. The beach was spaciously beautiful. We took a few pictures and ran back into the car because the wind was super strong and the air was very cold. We initially thought of using the 90 Miles Beach route to break into the state highway, but a gentleman kindly advised us not to use the route. His car broke down halfway. We were scared half out of our wits. And so we ended up using regular road. There went our chance of seeing the sun set on the lovely beach.
Here comes challenge.
We followed the map to find our way to Omapere. Atie told me (I’m the navigator) we won’t be using the ferry, so we’d be using a different route. The problem with this route was that it was completely deserted (save for one and two cars every half an hour, if I remember correctly). It was night, it was raining, and it was dark. Only the moon lighted the road, and even the moon was hidden by the trees and the hills most of the time. There were only three of us, all girls, in the car. The road was not sealed, and it was full of twists and turns. We encountered at least 5 possums, 2 rabbits, 2 horses and 2 cows.
Speaking of cows, that reminds me of our scariest experience that night. While still driving in the dark that night, we saw a black and white figure from afar, standing right in the middle of the road. My first thought was “Huh, a hitch-hiker?” or “Is that person looking to commit suicide?”. I looked like a man wearing a black hood. As we got closer, I felt cold. It was definitely not a man, but I couldn’t be sure of what it was. The first thought on my mind was that “Ghhhoooosssttt?!!!!!”. No shit. I seriously thought it was a ghost. I considered closing my eyes, but for the sake of Atie who was driving and could not close her eyes no matter how scared she was, I didn’t close my eyes. As we got closer, I sighed in relief. I could breathe again. It was a big cow, black and white in colour. I felt like crying then and there, but I didn’t. I guess I was too scared to cry.
We almost took the wrong turn twice. When I saw the sign pointing to an attraction called ‘something boulders’, I yelped in happiness. We were on the right track. We followed the road, scared shitless, until Atie said “Intan, I really feel grateful I could cry now”. We were back on sealed road, making our way back into the state highway. That was when I realised that I hadn’t been breathing properly. It felt a lot better.
The problem was that we were supposed to check in at Globetrekker Lodge before 8.00pm, after which our booking would be rendered invalid. As soon as Vodafone was back in service, Atie called the management, asking if e could still check in. I accompanied Mira to the toilet. As I waited for her outside, keeping my eyes on the car, I saw a guy sitting on a bridge not too far from where Atie stopped the car. I knew the man saw me. He kept looking at me from afar and making eerie, breathy sound. I urged Mira to hurry up, and then we both ran into the car to continue to check in. It was just our luck that we could still check in. Alhamdulillah. The host was really kind. We were late by a couple of hours and we could still check in. I couldn’t be more glad to have a placeÂ to sleep for the night after such an adventurous journey.
Needless to say, we all slept like a log that night.