Walking the Mount

Yesterday, since we’d been feeling a bit under the weather, but after testing negative using a RAT, decided to walk the Mount. You know, to blow out a few cobwebs. I find if I make my body work hard, it forgets about the persistent little complaints and they magically go away. Sometimes. I had been getting really stressed about my new Moari language course, have not received my login, couldn’t prepare for my class Thursday, then got stuck in traffic due to an accident (not mine but some poor sods) and as a result forfeited going, I was so late. I had no idea how I’m going to catch up something that hadn’t really started yet for me with my busy job, so regretfully withdrew. I’ll start with the Papa Te Reo course once it’s available and learn using more suitable sized chunks. Then I’ll look at the next stage.

So my lovely husband and I got ready, with water bottles, lunch and jersey just in case and went to the Mount, to help alleviate all the stress that decision had made. That means to Mt Maunganui. It was the most beautiful day. First quietly sitting eating lunch, we marvelled at how it really does look like a big hill so it should be relatively easy right? I walked it a year ago with my sister and managed no problem. Mt Maunganui is an extinct volcano and very important to Tauranga and the Maori people as it is a sacred sight. I do feel privileged to be able to walk there and use the tracks without permission. It’s about an hour to the top, then half an hour back down the other side, if you’re fit enough.

So we filled up on delicious Sushi at Pilot Bay Beach, then off we went. We started at that beach end, and walked around the bottom path for a bit to let lunch settle, then decided to climb to the summit. A combination of wasabi causing heart burn, a hot day, the steepness of the climb, and our competitive natures, I think I nearly killed my lovely husband. We were both absolutely chin strapped by the time we made it, but the view is absolutely worth the hard climb. It took him a while to talk to me, but when he managed to catch his breath he not so gently reminded me we were feeling poorly enough to take a RAT. Oh yeah, I forgot about that. And we’re getting older too. Nothing some paracetamol and anti flam can’t fix later. There were other people struggling, not just us, and younger than us too. It really is quite steep.

At the top there’s the peace beacon marking the end of the First World War, and a view right along the Mount, then Papamoa and beyond. There’s also stunning views of the other side and Tauranga all the way up. Native birds are everywhere but especially cheeky fantails who follow along hoping we will stir up bugs. We were also in for a treat because some people were BASE jumping, gliding through the air above us with the intention of landing on the beach below. That looked so peaceful but I don’t know if I’d be brave enough to do it myself. I went parasailing in Bali once and had an unfortunate landing back onto the beach which put me off a bit. Something definitely went wrong that day because I got free drink for my efforts!

At least coming down off the summit is fairly easy with steps to walk down. It brought us out past the camping ground on the other side of the peninsula to Maunganui Beach, and ten thousand steps recorded! If you’re in need of relaxing at that point a swim in the ocean or a soak in the hot pools would be great. We’ll be prepared for that next time, because we’re still not quite keen to do activities like that with Omicron about. Enjoy the photos!

More soon – Sally

P.S. If you tap on a photo, it will open and you can view it as a slide show!

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