No rain today. This is excellent news. And not only for us – it’s clear that everyone in Auckland is sick of the rain. People regularly tell us that “we had terrible floods last week” or “it isn’t usually this wet here”. I get the sense that no one realizes the floods made international news. I know there are areas with significant damage, but we honestly haven’t seen any of it yet. Fingers crossed…
I wanted to see Mount Eden (also known as Maungawhau) because it looked like an interesting park and it has wonderful views of Auckland. It was about 5 km from our hotel, so we decided it would be a pleasant walk. We missed two small details. The first was the heat/humidity. The forecast called for 25 degrees C, which is quite pleasant. But when you add in the humidity, along with intense sun, it was very warm. And the other detail was that it was all up hill. Gently at first, and then…
And then … not so gentle. Yes, we were headed for the top. When you add that to the humidity, we were, let’s say, “warm”. Fortunately the lovely views of Auckland were accompanied by a wonderful cool breeze. Just the thing to enjoy.
Maungawhau is the revenant of two overlapping volcanoes that erupted 28,000 years ago. It is a sacred place, and the most sacred part is the crater, which is home to Matoaho, the guardian of secrets hidden in the earth.
No one is allowed to enter the crater, but we can respectfully visit the site, and enjoy the cool breeze, and the views.
The walk to Mount Eden was mostly uphill, so the walk back was mostly downhill. Thank God. We stopped for lunch and much needed water half way back, which was great, except for having to stand up and start walking again after lunch. But we were treated to more of Auckland’s lush vegetation. This was a banana tree, growing beside the sidewalk. The first picture is the flower, and then the fruit.
I mentioned earlier that all the locals are sick of the rain. Apparently they are also sick of their mayor, who was very slow to declare the state of emergency. We were treated to a demonstration calling for the mayor to resign. The speaker at the rally sounded incredibly pissed.
No idea what is on tap for tomorrow. But I do know it won’t be minus 30, so we’re all good.