Hmm… always remembering the wise words of my Blog Guru, Andrew, “never force a blog”, I also want to note that writing a blog post when you’re INCREDIBLY chilled out, isn’t forced, it’s just slow. Slow and steady does however, appaz, wins the race. Not that this is a race, but thankfully, being in a wifi free zone for a few days, i’ve been able to jot down this post and then hit save, and hope it’s all a. there when I go in to update and b. there when I get home, connect to wifi and hit the ‘Publish’ button. I won’t be angry, sorry, I should pick a better word than ‘hit’ aye, sounds so aggressive. Note to self: think of a better word and update before publishing. Oh…
Should probably re-write that intro too, but safe to say, I won’t.
Moving on… I am here, in heaven, the delightfully chilled, beautiful, and not taken over / ruined by the future, Mount Maunganui! In my eyes, under my feet, and within my mind, this really is, where I should be. Right now, sure. In the future, right now that feels like ‘most likely’. My first 24 hours of my long weekend away is coming to a close, and i’ve just had thee best day. I’ve; walked over 21,800 steps, not drank alcohol, not smoked a cigarette, not eaten any junk, my skin is glowing, my heart isn’t screaming, more freckles have popped out to say hello, i’ve had many conversations with many strangers. I’ve not only captured a tonne of Kodaks on my camera/iPhone, but i’ve also cemented a lot of fantabulous images in my wee mind. When really, to be honest, all i’ve done is walk the 2.9km round the Mount, and then just sat on the beach and switched off. Just taking it all in. Back to the hostel to grab a jumper, then headed to the Gourmet Night Market for some tasty caribbean chicken curry (after spending around 21.37 minutes trying to decide which of the many deliciously appealing food offerings available would most excite my tastebuds), followed by another wee trip to the beach, just because. Because I can. Because it’s on my doorstep. Because it’s accessible. Because, just simply, because.
‘Home’ now, in my pj’s, on my bunk, typing away. Day 1, day 1 of my mini-break, a success. Day 1 of a clearer mind, done.
I can’t really explain as to why I love it here so much. I’ve visited a number of times during my four trips to New Zealand, and still can’t put my finger on as to why, when I see that Mount, when I step on that sand, when I see the few rows of shops, I just feel so unbelievably happy, with a very comfortable smile slapped across my face. I’m sure a few of you readers that have been here, not all of you will agree it’s as magical as i’m stating, but I can guarantee there will be no reader who debates that I am wrong diddly wrong wrong and i’m actually visiting an utter dive. If there is a cretin out there that thinks this, name yourself, so that you can name and shame yourself. You’re clearly a fool.
Waking up after a corker of a trip to Planet Kipster, I was chuffed to bits that i’d picked the I had. Seagulls Guest House is not your typical hostel. There are zero loud mouths, piss heads, twats or eejits. It’s VERY clean, quiet, friendly, comfortable, and the other guests, we’re all clearly awesome for finding this wee gem. I am paying $30 per night for a triple room. My room mates include a lovely lady: Val, in her 60s, from Belfast, here in NZ visiting her youngest daughter. The other roomie, the original one has gone – she could only get the availability for one night, a sweet, not great english vocab, Asian lass, has been replaced with a fellow pom: Vicky, whom, spookily; is a week younger than me, is on the same visa as me, and has the exact same reasons for being here (in NZ, and not in the UK) as me. She’s off to Tauranga tonight for some reggae music festival. Her plans for the weekend. I’d have been up for it in all honesty, but cannae justify the spends, and seriously, i’m most excited about my own Saturday plans. Hint: it doesn’t involve much. Much doing or much spending.
The Mount. The walk around the Mount. That’s right, I walked AROUND the Mount. As much as I walk EVERY day, and I partake in running and yoga (my gym fanatic days are no longer, due to the ever increasing back pain and ailments that my body just muddles through on a daily basis), walking to the summit, which is pretty much just UP, I wasn’t going to risk it. I just can’t afford the risk. So back to describing the walk AROUND the Mount. It’s just, again, in MY opinion, it’s just breathtaking. The water really is THAT clear. It really does run out to as far as the eye can see. The sheep you see just wandering around, really are that friendly/tame. And the path edges, really are that unaided and the possibility of falling to your death is there. If you’re stupid enough. I walked around it. I loved it. And that’s that. You know what, as the weather is meant to be an even bigger step up to what it was today, I may even treat my soles to another waltz there tomozzers.
The beach. The beach is just stunning. Which therefore leaves me puzzled, as to why it’s never rammed. It’s a public holiday, it’s the height of Summer, and still, it was just me. I’m not complaining, never, i’m just stating I find it most queer. You’d never get that in the UK. Right, there are a lot more beaches here, and beautiful ones at that, but really? I went there twice today, and tomozzers, well, even though I am sat here with a slightly pink hooter, I plan on doing nothing but sprawling out on the beach, with my new beach towel, my book, and a gallon of sun screen and enjoying my Saturday – blissfully. Quite simply, because I can.
Back at the hostel writing this, with BBC Radio 4 Desert Island Discs as company (Sally Wainwright), my room is alight with my beaming smile. Happiness, clean cut happiness. Can every day seriously keep being better than the last? Who ever my guardian angel may be, you’re a gem an’a ‘alf you, my lil blighter!
Day 2: Very much ‘lather, rinse, repeat’ yesterday’s bottle of goodness. Only today, not a cloud in the sky! I went for another delicious breakfast, and went for another joyous and beautiful walk around The Mount. This time, in the opposite direction. It’s just as stunning. I tell you, my peepers have had an awesome weekend just admiring the pervacious views. Some youth even pointed out to me that there were some seal pups swimming around. They were correct, and I managed to catch a few glimpses of the lil cuters. Trotting around it a tad quicker today (less photo’s you see), I made way past the large collection of female volleyball games going on (so that would explain why there were so many hot men wandering around today. Sigh) and found myself a nice empty spot on the beach. Where I stopped, just me, my book, the occasional bout of ear wigging and perving, and here is where I set myself for around 5 hours.
Seriously, I have found yet another happy place. As a child, I was never a major beach fan. Probably because we rarely went. However, over the last few years, but definitely over the last 10 months, I’ve become a major fan. The increase of love I have for the beach / sea could be linked to the recent discovery of how much I enjoy learning about meditation, and taking real time out for oneself. Just switching off and taking in the moment, at that very moment, just for what it is. I can really do this at the beach. Watching the waves. I couldn’t believe how much I just switched off. The hours passed by, but not in a rushed sense, and I felt like I thought of so much, yet at the same time, switched off a great deal. Of course I managed to squeeze in one of my many hobbies – daydreaming. I’m a Pisces, it’s what we do!
With dusk coming around, and not having eaten since brunch, I set off to grab a wee bite, wash the days sand off my freckled skin, and relax in my empty room with two more podcasts (Ray Winstone and Damien Lewis) and the drafting of this post, ready for returning home to the wifi zone.
All in all, a fantastic day. I can’t complain about anything. Just that it only lasted 24 hours.
Day 3: time to venture back to Auckland… With a little scuff in my step, I awoke early (due to one of my roomies having to leave for a 7:30am coach), so got straight in the shower, and checked out, all before 8.30am. With my coach not due to depart until 12:45pm, there was only one thing I could do…that’s right, grab my book, and head to the beach. An empty beach (again!) at that. Again, as per yesterday, AND the day before, less is more. I can’t put in to words how at ease and chilled out I felt. Lasting for the full morning, before that time had come, that dreaded time, of saying goodbye, grabbing my satchel and jumping on the (slightly delayed) coach. Once again, with the ‘delightful’ South American ‘lads’. Throw some public holiday traffic in to the mix, and it’s 9:30pm, i’m home, fed, watered and slowly but surely, dwindling my 500+ photos from my dreamy weekend, down to a ‘few’.
At various points of the weekend, I found myself getting a tad emotional. Happy emotions, but still, my peepers got a tad moist. I feel I truly found a way to cleanse my mind, and discover the benefits, and joy, of meditation. The beauty of the destination definitely aided this achievement, but I know my laid back spirit of just ‘doing it’, as in living, helped this become completely possible.
If you’re ever in this part of this there world, please do, do try your best to visit The Mount, even if just for half a day if you can, it truly is breath taking. I guarantee you will feel refreshed during your time here, and as you drift off with this lovely scenery drifting off behind you.
Now who wants a wager… I say it’ll be April 16, this will be the day I don’t find any sand that’s followed me home from this trip… It gets everywhere!! 😉