Saturday, April 12, 2008
The long walk home
It was slightly overcast today, but I was still determined to get over to Waiheke Island, about 40 minutes off the coast of Auckland. I was told it was a great place to visit with some lovely beaches, a winery and some shops. Plus, it wasn't too expensive to get there, which always plays an important part in all of my excursions.
So, I boarded a ferry from Auckland harbor and headed away from the city and into the open sea. The sky kept skipping around from partly cloudy, to "dear God it's gonna rain and I didn't bring my umbrella", to "ah, the sun...thank God I didn't have to cart that damn umbrella around." every few minutes. But, I was on a boat...in New Zealand, so I'm not really gonna complain all that much.
We got to the island and I took the bus into this little town. It was a nice seaside village that reminded me a bit of Santa Barbara. Some typical shops, lots of real estate offices (it ain't cheap to live here) and some purty scenery.
After walking down a few blocks, I could see the water on the other side of the island...
According to my map, I was near a road that went to the Esplanade area...which, I thought, was the touristy-beachy-shopping side of the island.
After walking down some long, although lovely, rural roads...I did make it to the beach.
It was all residential and I didn't see a car on the road, which now had turned into more of a dirt/gravel road.
It was at that point (almost 2 miles away from the other town) that I realized that the "esplanade" was actually the name of the road that goes along the beach to, again...what I assumed, was still a bustling beach community just around the next corner. So, I walked...
And walked some more...
Oh around this corner is.....more walking....and the sun is starting to go down...
I finally get around these three long bends around the island to a place where this particular road ends and breaks off into two little rural streets. No big city...just a few houses, but still...some nice scenery.
I finally spotted a bus stop...and there were two people there, the only people I'd seen in almost two hours. I told them about how I had been searching for the "seaside village" that I thought was here. They laughed and said that there is just one main city on the island and I had already been in it.
But, they were both very nice and we all chatted for a bit until the bus showed up to take us to the marina for the next ferry back to Auckland.
Although it wasn't the journey I thought I'd be taking, it turned out (as always) to be the one I needed to be on. The whole "wherever you go...there you are" kind of trip.
As much as I like a spiritual jouney, I can't say that a small part of me kinda wishes it had been more of a "Wherever you go, there is another free box of cash" kind of trip.
Now THAT would have really been worth all of the walking.