Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Other Side...of the Island

 This blog is more about the pictures than anything else.

I just got back from an amazing trek at Te Rete Station, a 4,000 hector ranch (that 10,000 acres!!!) on a peninsula that forms Potoorangi Bay on the west side of the north island near Raglan.  The ranch is owned by David and Nicky Peacock and the trek was organized by the Waikato Hunt Club.
The ranch reminded me of a ranch in Eastern Washington or Montana....

Ready to head can see the tent for meals in the background.
It was there in case it didn't.
Heading out...with over 70 riders.  I've never ridden in such a large group!
I've never even been involved with that many horses!  And amazingly, it was OK!
(See my Port Townsend Athletic Club T shirt.  It was a conversation starter.)

We headed down to the west side of the peninsula and the beach.

...a wide black sand beach.  I'm told the sand is exported
to Japan!
Of course both Marianna and I shot pictures.
It was great to share them when we got home.

Crossing the outflow of a river.
There were these cool caves...I called them grottos.
Snoopy's head gives perspective.

The horses didn't particularly like the caves.
They wouldn't even stick their noses in!

We rode all day...and were never off of the ranch.
The land was mostly rolling hills with mountains in the background.
This was our lunch spot the first day.  It was where the ranch 4x4s could bring it to us. 
Tough huh?

Back at the camp ground...after about a 20+ mile trek.
"An old cowboy went ridin' out one dark and windy day..."

The camp ground may have looked pretty basic,
but the owners were nice enough to let us use their pool...which
of course both Marianna and I did...several times.

Evenings were times to socialize...and there was a band on Saturday night.

The next day, we headed east from the camp through the "bush."
On the beach of the east side of the peninsula looking north.

The owner, David Peacock lead this ride.  He
told us history of the land.  There was a mission here
at one time.
 I saw a vastness I haven't seen here before.  It had the feel of a large Montana ranch but surrounded by water.

We rode over to the west side of the peninsula and looked down
on the beautiful rock formations.

What a viewpoint....

Looking west to the Tasman Sea
and Australia

As I say, the pictures tell the story.  It was an amazing experience for me, and for Marianna too and was without question one of the experiences of a lifetime.  And Marianna arranged for a full moon.  I heard the horses running as I went to sleep...just like in South Africa.

Next week I go up to Auckland for a few days, staying at the Theosophical Society headquarters there and then to Sidney and then home to PT.  It's been a great trip but I'm sure looking forward to PT...even if it is drizzling!

1 comment:

  1. I'm going again to this place Dave, and this time Brian is coming and my friend Juanita. I am excited to be returning here as it was one of the best treks I have dome so far, and I have dome a lot of them. We are going from the 10th to the 12th of February.