Mount Maunganui

Dec 16th

More than a week since my last post. Wow, Rotorua and all around it really got to me.
I spent some days with friends of a friend of my friend M. Which was good, A very enlightening constellation afternoon in Whakatane. After the workhop I received a lift with D. to beautiful Mount Maunganui where I am still staying. I also had dinner with her and her family and one night in a most comfortable bed. Thank you D! The next morning I moved to the local campground. I had hoped for sun and beach and nice walking to recover from recent upheaval. And that is what I am getting. 🙂 I have been eating well too, some camping cooking and no more scones … Eating out more here as the kitchen area in the camp is ok but not made to relax. Most guests here come for the whole summer I found out and they have their campervans and big tents with own eating spaces.

And eating out options are good here. Although I still have not understood why cafes are closing at 3pm or at the latest 4pm when I would be ready to eat around 5pm. But I found a Turkish eating place with good food that does not follow local time tables. I am also still expecting to find nice little eating and cafe places at the end of my long beach walks. But no, there is either nothing or a shed style building with a little shop or sometimes a posh restaurant. This is my European travel experiences interfering I notice and how I found those old little harbour villages always beautiful and comforting. But this is New! Zealand which is indeed a very new country, populated probably only for a max of 1000 years and most of old Maori settlements destroyed. The whole land is kind of new as I experienced in Rotorua where the ground is still boiling and moving.

And the focus can be on the direct nature experience here which most people come for. I would just wish for a more elegant „Übergang“ between nature and modern NZ life. It feels violent to me at times.

And I keep finding my little comfort niches. A cafe, run by a couple from China with excellent food and tea with a free 60MB internet voucher. I really enjoy staying in one place for a whole week. I slowly get to know my camping neighbours, shops and find my favorite spots at the beach. I enjoy getting a feel for the town and this town seems to be very sports oriented.

They have this Mount here, 223 m high, right at the end of town, of the beach of everything. Nice trails up and some of the best views I have seen, endless ocean, islands, mountains in the distance.

mount_manganui_mount

The mount doubles as a gym for locals, running groups, young mamas with their babies on the back, I have never seen so many fit people. There must be a high peer pressure in town to be fit, many seem to walk up the Mount every morning. Me too. It is a good start into the day.

Two days ago I walked 12km along the beach away from the Mount, barefoot, a real treat and it felt good, my feet feel awesome since then.

Then yesterday I met D. again for a morning meditation thing she offers every Thursday. We did a 11 direction ceremony with shells at the beach, beautiful. It confirmed my impulse to start to take more care of my back which has been hurting recently. I used to have my daily exercise routine for my back but I have been slack with it because I felt I am getting enough exercise anyway and then I have to get used to doing the exercises somewhere outside where people can see me. It is still about this, what will they think … Well this morning I exercised on the grass in front of my tent and a neighbouring camper came up to congratulate me on my fitness 🙂 so will focus on the possibility to inspire people.

Yesterday I treated myself to a massage and a soak in the hot pools (37-39 degrees). My tent is on a terrace up a slope of the mount and I can hear the playing children in the pool and music of the morning aerobic classes as if I was there anyway, so wanted to try it. I might have overdone it, hot salt and mineral water seem to have a strong effect on my body. Could not sleep and instead read my current book Zorro by Isabel Allende with my torch. Which was kind of nice too. I do like my little tent and the world I can create inside.

Surfing is taught at high school here. I watched some lessons on the beach. Looks like hard training, before they get to go on the board they run in the sand, jump into the waves, then paddle out, in, run again. Lots of stamina needed for this sport. And they do sea kayaking here. I would join a kayaking club if I was living here.

More things to write about in my head and I will stop here and load the post up and possibly write more tonight.

Photos are available on my facebook page.

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