Spent a wonderful few hours with B. It was so lovley to see her again after what feels like a very long time and the chatting seemed easy. I'm pleased I was able to visit - it sounds as though her Christmas/New Year period has been very busy but things seemed to dovetail well to allow a window of opportunity which we took.
Well into the afternoon though I thought I should make tracks - I didn't want to get caught in Auckland rush hour traffic as I once again contemplated negotiating the motorways and the Harbour Bridge.
As it turned out, all was good. The traffic was fast and my trusty van surprised me by holding its own along the motorway. It was nevertheless a relief to reach the south side of the city, to see 4 lanes dissolve to 3 then to 2 and the see the volume of traffic slowly dwindle to a trickle. And as I drove on towards Raglan (why Raglan? I have no idea!) the roads became even narrower and windier. Yay! Back to the country.
This is the Taupiri Mountain, burial place of many prominent Maori Chiefs, all of the Maori Kings and, most recently, the Maori Queen. It sits on the main State Highway right alongside the main north-south railway line (which you can just see bottom right of the pic). Too lovely a spot to just drive past without stopping - there's a real feeling of peace here. A beautiful spot overlooking the mighty Waikato River.
If you look closley you may make out a dad and his daughter visiting some of their descendents.