I walked all the way up Mt. Maunganui. And I didn't die!
Since we made the decision for our oldest boy to go to New Caledonia next year for a school French trip, and I offered to go along as parent help (I know - life is tough), I decided that if I was going to keep up with about 20 teenagers for 5 days, I needed to get fit.
So, I've been walking around the neighbourhood every morning for about half an hour.
And then, on Saturday I was over at my brother in law's and they suggested we go with them for a walk around the Mount and up the Mount that afternoon. I did a double-take. "Did you just say what I think you just said? No way am I going up the Mount with two super-fit athletes. But I got talked into it by my husband, who then told me I wasn't allowed to yell at him when I got sore and tired because this was all my idea.
This is the beginning of the track up. Honestly, I had to keep stopping to take photos because the view on the way up is drop-dead-gorgeous.
So many steps to climb! I hate climbing steps.
It was such a beautiful afternoon. There were a lot of people out walking that day. Here is the main Mount Maunganui beach, which is one of New Zealand's most popular beaches in summer. Well, as you can see, I'm getting higher up the mountain.... very gradually.
This photo (taken on my phone) looks down at the same beach, but I was a little higher up by then, at what the locals call, Shark Alley. That little strip of water between the islands. Or as my sister-in-law explained, someone probably once saw one shark there.
So I very slowly made my way up - having to stop a few times. My heart was beating so hard my ears were popping. I was glad we were doing this with a doctor! LOL! Miss A, who is 4, surprised us all by practically running up. All the kids did extraordinarily well. I have a friend who runs up this mountain everyday - I am in awe of people who run at all - let alone run up Mt. Maunganui.
The walk up is beautiful. The paths are well formed and surrounded by beautiful bush and rock and the views are worth the sweat and the pain.
So we made it. I nearly died just five steps from the top, but forced myself up. And then I was so busy taking photos of the view and of everyone else, that I forgot to get one of me up there.
We met a nice German boy up there who had just arrived in the country, who helped lift my two boys up onto this....
A tui. We also saw a wild Hare. And lots and lots of rabbits.
This shows the yacht club at Sulphur Point (left), where we do tend to spend quite a bit of time over the summer, thanks to a son who is passionate about sailing. It looks so tiny from up here!
The walk down was really steep! But much easier than the walk up.
I love this view over towards Omokoroa (heading towards Katikati).
I love this one of Matakana Island.
Miss A started to fade on the way down. In spite of her brothers showing her multiple ways to skid down a mountain. She ended up being carried on Dad's back.
There were places where the track was quite narrow and no fences with a very long, steep drop. I had to stop the boys from skidding in that place. LOL!
But of course my kids somehow never seem to stick to the pathway. So they can't go down, well, they'll go up!
This is what I love about living in the Bay of Plenty - we are surrounded by the sea. I love that. I love the sea. I love being near it. That is Slipper Island out there, just on the horizon.
We took a shortcut down the side over a sheep-filled paddock. Climbing over stiles. How very Enid Blyton of us!
Just have to say here too, how much we are loving being near to two of Rob's brothers. So nice for our kids to get to know their aunties and uncles.
By the time we finished the walk up and down the Mount, and then once around the bottom of the Mount, the day was starting to cool down. As we approached beautiful, still Pilot Bay, the shadows were encroaching and the crowds were thinning out. Time to go home. And do stretches. But that still didn't help my aching muscles the next day!
But I'm so glad I can now say I've been to the top of Mt. Maunganui.