sunset, Malaysia
sunset, Malaysia
  • the greatest light / the greatest shade
    • 17/02/2012
so bus (intercity.co.nz) from auckland to whangarei


i guess i've been spoiled. yesterday i dived at what jacques custeau rated one of the top 10 sites in the world, and it wasn't even the highlight of the day.
that sounds wayyyy too boastful and ungrateful but its true

the diving was good, but at more than double the price of diving in the cook islands it wasn't doubly as good.
The boat was full with about 20 people, which made the water seem almost as crowded with people in masks as it was with fish, kelp and crustaceaous things.
And i saw stingray, moray eels, porcupine fish, large shoals of other fish, swam under rocks, through an arch with the sunlight dancing down in shafts into the depth of the water.

But in the cooks i was diving with 2 other people, just us in the ocean, with all that amazing coral, shark, and tropical fish.
I wouldn't say today put me off diving, but maybe i'll wait till i get to cheaper places and feel i'm getting value for money. I know this trip was supposed to be about experience, not money, not shirking things because they seem expensive when i've already paid a fortune getting to the other side of the world,
but everything is relative.


So what was better than swimming inches away from fish as big as your torso and eels that could bite your thumb off (look it up on youtube)



Glow worms. I've never seen them before. They're pretty. Hundreds of tiny soft greenish lights, steadily glowing in the undergrowth, on the cliffs, alongside a brook which is gurgling and gushing and tumbling over waterfalls.

And it's pitch dark. aside from the worms (which are so small that even from a few inches away under torch light you can barely see them)

And it's quiet. Well, not silence, but no human noises, just the stream and the neverending soundtrack of chirrups from crickets, geckos and/or whatever else it is i don't know!

it's a magical kind of experience.

there was an old mine entrance about half way along the path, didn't seem worth going in but it looked cool in torch light, until one of the girls spotted this huge spidery thing above the entrance, inches from her head. but it was more like a cricket, with jointed back legs and antenna. It was huge though, i wouldn't have wanted it jumping on my head!

things like this, amazing sights and sensations, at the same time are the moments when i feel most alone, in it not being a shared experience, in not having anyone to reminisce about it with later. i guess you could say that makes things unique and special for me also - the feeling of aloneness is sometimes what makes the moment so special, rather than it being loneliness. but this time.



15mins walk along road from the hostel, as i approached the entrance to the path into the woods i became aware of some shadowy figures huddled on the edge of the woods, and then a bright flashlight shone into my face, blinding. Eek! hello!

It's 3 dutch? girls from the hostel "we were too scared to go into the woods" they say. so i reassure them and lead the way all macho like. although it is a bit scary in the dark...



on the way back one of them spots something, a creature at the side of the road. it runs up a tree. a possum?! like a rabbit frozen now in the led beams of our 4 headtorches, it clings to a branch and peers round the trunk of the tree.

further along we're looking at the sky, wondering if that if that is indeed the southern cross, when i see a shooting star, yay!

mia, sarah, lean are the girls, on a 3 month team building course? and holiday trip.

"awwwww" says mia, i haven't seen one (a shooting star) since i was about 10" she scans the sky in vain.

5 mins later the other two girls exclaim "oooo (incomprehensible dutch)" but obviously theyve just seen a shooting star. Mia is super frustrated now!!! (also in dutch, but translation not required to understand that whole scene)



Now i'm further north up the coast in Paihia in the Bay of Islands. napping.


browse by location

Iceland

Slovenia

Hungary

Slovakia

Hungary

Slovakia

Poland

Slovakia

Poland

Czech Republic

Poland

Czech Republic

England

Thaliand

Hong Kong

Thailand

RSA

Zimbabwe

Malawi

Tanzania

Kenya

Tanzania

Rwanda

Uganda

Kenya

Norway

Sweden

Denmark

Germany

The Netherlands

Cuba

Cayman Islands

France

Switzerland

Italy

Switzerland

England

Wales

Scotland

England

France

Holland

England

Germany

England

USA

England

Thailand

Malaysia

Singapore

Fiji

Australia

Samoa

Fiji

Australia

New Zealand

Cook Islands

Mexico

USA

Canada

USA

England