Perhaps now we are all locked in our homes for most of the time I thought that you might like to read a story about my travels to the North Island so here it is....
Made it just in time home from Hamilton, before the big lockdown, where my wife and me spend 2 weeks at my sons place which was great indeed.
We've taken the opportunity also to travel the eastcape where we've been before once only an enjoyed that so much that we wanted to go back again.
This was also an opportunity to dust off my camera once again to create some more memories about our family and the environs of the east cape.
And so it happened that we found ourselves in the Hukutaia domain about 8km from Opotiki where there is 4.5 hectares patch of native bush remnants with a major highlight a massive Puriri tree which is believed to be over 2000 years old.
TAKETAKERAU is the maori name for this tree which means so much as the Burial Tree.
The story is that this tree was used by Upokorehe as a place to store the bones of their distinguished dead.
The tree was highly tapu and any interference with the site was a deadly affront to the atua ( ancestral gods ) bringing death to the offenders.
When a storm damaged the tree and exposed the bones it was decided to remove the bones, by local iwi, for reburial elsewhere.
We were very impressed with the sight of this tree and happy that we did visit this beautiful Hukutaia Domain.
East Cape lighthouse was also on our little bucket list so after an interesting last 20km on gravel and very narrow in places road we got to the bottom of the hill in one piece but lo and behold there were some stairs to climb to get to this lighthouse on the top of this rock.
This proved to be a real challenge because this was not your normal stairs but blocks of wood like railway sleepers spaced out nicely with a handrail provided in the bends.
I did not count the number of blocks but I was told there were about 800 of them and indeed it was hard yakka to get to the top with only one seat halfway to take a breather.
Anyway I got to the top and enjoyed the great view so the giant effort was well worth it.