The four days in New Plymouth last week were great. The cycling conference was really interesting, and it was good to see it all happen after all those teleconferences. The hotel was nice, and I really enjoyed the European standard. Warm! Nice shower! And a big tub, which I couldn’t resist. In my enthusiasm I filled it up with way too hot water though and rather than having a bubble bath, ended up sitting on the rim of the tub sweating in the hot steam. It was fun anyway.
On Friday night I moved into a nice little backpackers which turned out to be full of Germans. My rental car was delivered on Saturday morning, and off I went to do the White Cliffs Walkway which had been on my personal to-do list since 2002.
The weather was nice, and after 2 days of sitting in a conference, it felt really good to be out and about. It was a very beautiful walk, one way over farmland and through bush, and back on the beach, with the cliffs towering above. The sand there is pitch black, which I found quite amazing in contrast with the white cliffs.
On the way back, I even got to see Mt Taranaki in its entirety, and no clouds hiding it.
Sunday was a bit drizzly, a bit sunny, and warm all day. I went for a loop walk on the slopes of the mountain which was unfortunately in the clouds on that day. It was a nice walk anyway, peaceful and quiet, with nice pools and nice bush.
In the evening, I had a chat with a Swiss girl at the backpackers who had worked on the South island skifields over winter. It’s the South island us Europeans from mountain countries love so much, and it’s the mountains I miss so much here. And it’s nice to sometimes meet people who are like me – mountains aah.