Day 8 – Feb 7 – Friday
There are several “Heritage Walks” published by the Rotary Club, so we decided today, instead of walking into town for breakfast, to take off on one of the walks, since it appears there is a breakfast place on the the route.
We walked down the hill to the beach, turned left and started toward the beginning of the route. The walk along the waterfront beach in Devonport is very pleasant – it is tree shaded and there is a seawall and there are many benches along the way with folks reading and mothers watching there children play in the sand. The area is quite popular with walkers and cyclists (but not the outfitted enthusiasts we might see in Dallas, rather these are local residents, just getting from one place to another).
Before reaching the start of the route we reached “Platters” a restaurant facing the beach. We ordered what has become our “go to” breakfast, as it is served everywhere here – two eggs on toast (usually a heavy brown bread toast). After breakfast we launched out on our trek. We left the beach travelling up Cheltenham Road, bypassing an optional climb to the top of North Head, which was fortified in the 1880s to defend against a possible Russian attack (those pesky Russians again). Anyway, we didn’t feel up to a hike to the top before we even started our trek.
Cheltenham Road ended at Cheltenham Beach – a beautiful beach about a half mile long, with homes front the sea and just a few sunbathers on the sand.
After traversing the length of the beach, the route led us back into the neighborhoods and past Fort Takapuna, a Naval facility – I believe for Naval officer training.
At this point we turned away from the seashore, passed a large park (they call them Reserves over here) and then passed the Waitemata Golf Course – which was completely full – with groups on every hole. A note here about name “Waitemata” – New Zealand has two official languages, English and Maori (pronounced “maury”) – the Maori are the original inhabitants of New Zealand. Many place names are in Maori.
As we looped back through the neighborhoods toward our original starting point I began to notice the wide variety of flowers planted around everyone’s gardens and fences and decided to capture some of them. I know nothing of plants and flowers, but maybe some of you do. New Zealand appears to profit from the good soil, good weather, and enthusiasm of its gardeners.
An interesting paint job on this gate – very much out of place amongst this staid 1930’s architecture.
As we wound our way back to original starting point, we passed this Cricket pitch being worked on – unfortunately for us, no matches scheduled until March. Does anyone understand this game – I sure don’t.
And back home again – it took considerably longer than the 1 hour advertised time – but then again, we stopped for ice cream and latte.