February 18, 2007

Rag Town

Raglan, also known as Rag Town, is a world-renowned surfing spot. The past two weekends Ryan and I rented a car and drove down to Raglan on Saturday morning, spent the night in Whale Bay, and drove back on Sunday. The drive takes about 2.25 hours, including a stop for gas or restroom break. The initial stretch out of Auckland on Hwy 1 is straight with very little curves, but once we turn into Ngaruawahia, the two-way, one lane each way, country road starts winding, curving, which makes for an interesting drive.

Ryan booked a group surfing lesson the first Saturday. I am not as comfortable in the water... unless I have a BCD on like in scuba diving... so I hung out in the Horizon Lodge. The view is great, except for the power lines that are mysteriously not in the photo on the website. His lesson was from 3-6pm. So, I made my way to the beach at around 5. Within a few minutes of my feet touching the black sand beach, it started raining... hard. So, I walked as fast as I could back up this huge hill back to the parking lot. Then up another huge hill to where I parked. I was drenched. Thinking that the rain would ease up after a few minutes, I waited in the car. But the rain kept coming, so I sat in the car and just relaxed... enjoyed some quiet time to myself. Right about 6, Ryan appeared in the parking lot, and we drove back to the house to clean up for dinner. We drove back into Rag Town and picked up an order of fish and chips from the local fish and chip shop. It was wrapped in the typical newspaper way... so soak up the grease. Then we drove to Manu Bay to eat and watch the surfers. The coolest thing to see was this father and daughter pair. The father would be working the surfboard and the daughter would hang out in the front of the board. She remained sitting most of the time. Still, it looked like fun.

This Saturday, we repeated the trip.. same house, same surfing school, same beach. Except this time Ryan took a private lesson. It was definitely tougher being out in the big waves. Surfing is hard.

For not having had much sun in the past 3 years, I am now making up for it. Though, it's rather dangerous down here where the ozone is thinner. This weekend we had 2 gorgeous days with very few clouds and lots of sun. Ryan got sunburned, and I got brown... even with sunblock on. On Sunday, the news reported the UV levels to be 'extreme'... I think that's just coincidentally NZ, isn't?

Pictures from Raglan here: http://www.kodakgallery.com/I.jsp?c=95reg1b.8x72a5sz&x=0&y=6sq07m

Posted by oneray at February 18, 2007 9:25 PM