It would be an injustice not to feature these activities in one blog entry. So here it goes…
- The Rimutaka Railroad Trail Walk & Fun Run. My one and only official fun run (more of walk) with my brother Eric & friend Andrew. For 3 hours or so, we trekked, walked and ran through pine forests, preserved mountains with old growth native trees, 4 old railroad tunnels, valleys, bridges and meadows. It was supposed to be just 17.5 km while my Garmin registered 25.8 km but how did those runners who ran 2 hours later than us caught up with us in the finish line after barely an hour?
- Crabbing/Clamming at Kapiti Coast. For an hour or so, we traveled North along a highway outlined by the endless green mountains on the right and the rugged sea coast on the left. We land on a clean gray beach that stretches for miles. The water was freezing cold but soon enough, my brother and nephew Pat were setting up the improvised nets while my niece Ayesha was gently swimming in the shallows. Trembling, I reluctantly joined in and soon enough, I was gathering clams (which can move fast underwater) using feet/toes power. Later on, we bring up the nets to gather the day’s crab catch into our waiting container. It was not the most pleasant experience I’ve had (I really have a hard time adjusting to the cold) but most rewarding especially after we munched on those meaty clawdaddies for dinner – yum, yum!
- Mt. Victoria outlook area and the Botanical gardens. Great views of the city from many angles. Blooms, native plants, ferns and trees everywhere. It was like being in the heavens.
- The Wellington Skyline walk. For more than 3 hours, Eric, Pat & I climbed and descended through kilometers of trails and walkways under the mid-afternoon sun. Along the way, we encountered giant windmills, age old trees, rare plants and nervous flocks of sheep while being afforded breathless views of Wellington and Oriental bay. Most of the time, we traversed through trails outlining the peaks of mountains and hills.
- Miramar coastline. It’s the other end of Wellington where weta studios are located but the surrounding coast is something else. Whether it’s rugged rock formations, quaint lagoons or spotless sandy beaches, the place never fails to elicit awe.
- Castle Point. I saved the best for last, but opkors! We traveled for 3 hours to one of the best beaches in the world (still, from my point of view). A lagoon ringed by hills and mountains which one can trek and photograph from many picturesque angles. While the water was a tad cold, the infinite gray plain of sands, the landmark lighthouse and the jagged beauty of the gigantic boulders (facing the untamed Pacific Ocean) made this a fitting climax of a vacation that never failed to impress and surprise. A long gash on my legs was one souvenir I brought with me when we tried to face the strong currents while ‘securely’ positioned on the craggy coast. Ouch!