the mount in the bay of plenty

The name "Bay of Plenty" originated with the English explorer James Cook during his 1769–70 exploration of New Zealand, who noted the abundant resources in the area. wikipedia

happy april everyone!

back in mount maunganui, a small corner in the bay of plenty. the last 10 days were spent in a little place of my own, two blocks from the ocean. it's been nice to have the space and stillness again, but even nicer that there are friends and neighbors less than two blocks away, liam, sophia, and basil (who has since left for oz). also, teo, guga, and jorge, their housemates, chefs who cook up some fine grub in the restaurants nearby. 

during basil's farewell party, i was happy to finally meet the young yet worldly borja (another former pom pom'er), and to witness one of the most touching and most comical scenes ever… the guys lovingly putting food in each other's mouths. i laughed so hard i nearly peed in my pants. only wished i had the presence of mind to turn on the flash before trying to capture the moment. oh well, you'll just have to take my word for it.

as captain cook did so many years ago, i too have found abundant resources in this laid-back beach town. almost every smile is returned, virtually anyone has time for a chat, and dogs dish out random acts of kindness by running up for a pat and a cuddle. plus, there's long stretches of beach all to myself, a delicious array of food options, including surprisingly good korean bbq, and a cinema, where i caught up with my buddy logan to ask if this would be the final chapter of the x-men saga.

today marks the beginning of the second quarter of 2017. i'm hoping spring has sprung for those of you up north. here in the southern hemisphere we are settling into autumn, which is marked by shorter days, cooler mornings and evenings, more clouds and rain. although a few of the locals have grumbled that they'd been cheated of a proper summer as it was colder and wetter than normal, i have no complaints. with this new season, i sense new possibilities on the horizon because in two short days, i head to the south island with sophia to explore new territory, and hopefully, meet a few penguins along the way!

before i go though, there's one thing left to be done, the walk up the mount, which i had been putting off, waiting for the perfect day. when i woke up to clear blue skies yesterday morning, the first in a long time, i knew this was it. an hour long walk later, i was at the base of the trail looking up to the top and smiling because, after tongariro, this was going to be a cakewalk 🙂

i wouldn't be completely truthful if i didn't say there was no huffing and puffing involved. there was. or that i didn't have moments of vertigo. i did. but overall, it was pleasure, not pain. the mount is a 20-minute walk uphill, not a 2-plus-hour effort on all fours, and there are established paths, not an endless jumble of unstable rocks to negotiate. with no fears to confront on this one, i could enjoy the views, which got ever more stunning the higher i went.

on a day such as this, when there's not a cloud in the sky, it's hard to find fault with anything. didn't mind the chinese tourists loudly gabbing away. didn't mind the not-so-attractive development along the waterfront. didn't even mind looking out into the industrial side of the harbor. everything is pretty and everything tastes good. anthony bourdain once said food tastes better when your feet are in the sand. i agree, but so does eating with those views! my normally boring breakfast seemed so gourmet, particularly when i shared it with the birds.

sad once again to be leaving, but excited in equal measure. it's yet another opportunity to let go, embrace change, and begin anew. i know if i keep at it, i'll eventually get good at this, especially the letting go part…

much love,

xoxo t

* here are more than a few of my faves on google.