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Raglan Roast

Main drag in Raglan:

I have found some incredibly delicious coffee, roasted right here in Raglan. I think I mentioned it before. I have come back for more, and also to buy an overpriced t-shirt – I am happy to be the rich American that supports a local coffee-roasting business.

Sitting across from the coffeeshop:

In the back of the little shack-like surf shop is this roaster setup:

I checked the calender today and realized I am a bit behind schedule and need to pick up the pace. I wanted to get to the south island by a week before April 1, the date I am booked to begin the Milford Track, which equals March 18th. It’s already March 10th and I still want to see the Waitomo Caves, do the Tongariro Alpine crossing which is a day-walk, go down to Taranaki, stopping in New Plymouth, and suringf some more. And getting to Wellington at least for one day to see the Te Papa Museum. Definitely need to get going, and will leave tomorrow. I was going to say “early” but, well, that is doubtful and I am finally accepting it. Maybe. I will give it a try. But if I am tossing and turning in the tent all night I will sleep in. It’s no fun driving on little sleep.

This morning before going out to surf, I invited Roland to come along with me on the next leg of my trip. His plans were strikingly similar and he has yet to rent a car. Better to split gas with me and have someone to do the caves and the walk with. But he said he was booked at Solscape until Saturday. I said I would check my calendar, and now that I have, it doesn’t look good. I will break the news to him when I get back to Solscape. Too bad.

Breakfast was a heaping pile of Muesli, greek yogurt, a cubed apple, Arataki Honey (the kind that is solid enough to scoop like ice cream), and, you guessed it, more tea. PG tips this morning. I finished up with two slices of well-toasted multigrain bread topped with heaps of spreadable butter. Yum. Shopping for items that need to be refrigerated was a treat in the grocery store yesterday. I stocked up. The little wheel of camembert will be eating like like a fruit in the car on the road tomorrow. And I got more chocolate! The day I left the Eco-Bach, I forgot to empty the fridge. Left inside was some milk, blueberries, chocolate and a half-finished glass jar of spaghetti sauce. By the time I got back and checked, they had been cleaned out. Coming out of the bach I saw the cleaning ladies walking up the drive. One had a jug of milk and glass jar that looked a lot like mine. I asked them about it and they looked at each other. “Well, the chocolate has been nibbled on. We saw you drive off and thought you had left….” Haha. There were some blueberries and not much chocolate left. They apologized and I said “No, no, it’s my fault. Think of it as an accidental tip.” I shared the rest of the chocolate with Roland later. Food, easy come easy go. I am still far ahead in that category so it felt good to share a little of my own.

Its high tide, the walk out over the rocks is so short right now!

The lineup outside:

Those who want to skip the paddle out, and risk serious injury, can jump off at Suicide Rock:

The surf report: Not as good of a session today, but still fun. I ran into Juan while I was walking down the driveway to check the waves from the little lookout point. He was doing the same. So I invited him to drive down to Manu Bay with me. Got a couple rides but nothing spectacular. On one, I was leaning heavily to one side on the rails thinking I was going to fall sooner than I did. Hand in the wave, I carved an unintentional tight turn and fell over. Ha, fun nonetheless. The inside waves were not as good as yesterday and the waves were far more crowded. I ended up paddling farther out but not catching anything. Too much competition. And I got crashed really good by a couple waves. One in particular wrenched my body like a rag being squeezed of excess water. My hip and left knee were torqued. It didn’t seem too dire an injury so I stayed out paddling a while longer. On the next wave I caught, a little inside one, I tried to pop up and found the lower half of my body didn’t want to cooperate. Time to paddle in.

I am not badly hurt, but could use a good long break. Juan came out of the water very soon after me. We had been out there two hours. Noon and we headed back to Solscape.

I know it seems kind of funny that I am always telling you what I eat, but meals are good markers of portions of the day. Plus at least one person has e-mailed to say they find it interesting (hi Bentley) and my Mom is always asking me what I like to eat. So you get a little insight into that as well. One great thing about travelling like this, with all my food in boxes and bags in the boot or in a fridge at the place I am staying is that virtually nothing goes to waste. I am constantly picking through all that I have, so I know what is not ready, what is ripe and what is going bad. Had a perfectly ripened avocado, which was rock hard when I bought it. Cut it in half, scooped out the seed and ate it with a spoon, salt liberally sprinkled on top.

On the drive back in from town I stopped at the lookout to watch the waves. They say in New Zealand that you can experience four seasons in a day. I think today is the day. The weather can’t seem to make up its mind, they also say. Cold cold in the morning. Hot in the sun out in the water. Storms passing through dumping rain. Cloud cover overhead but far out in the water were shivering bright patches of light heading towards me. In the dark grey afternoon, a long bright line formed across the horizon. I sat on the roof of my car, entranced.

I started my car up twice to leave, stopping each time because the shift in light and weather was so interesting I had to watch more. For an hour I sat there watching the light come towards me, followed by a storm. It rained for less than 15 minutes, then the misty, white cloud passed to my right covering the coastline. And the sun came out again. I took photos all the while. I will post a sequence of them tomorrow.

Tonight Roland, Tom (the hilarious Australian), Juan and I shared pasta and cooked up a sauce. I contributed garlic, a shallot, a tin of diced tomatoes and good bread for toast, buttered. I was so tired I was considering skipping dinner and going to bed. It’s a good thing these guys were around.

Roland has decided to leave town with me tomorrow. I am happy, it will be nice to have someone to go to the caves and on the Tongariro Alpine Crossing with. He might even go as far as Wellington with me.

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