Monday, May 19, 2008

Raglan and Lala Land

Wrote May 19th, 2008

Since the arrival of Andrew, somehow we have been getting nothing but really fun waves and warm sunny days. The time in the snow and freezing rain that Craig and I put in on the South Island has finally paid off. After leaving Taranaki, we headed to Hamilton where Andrew was staying to check out a school. He had meetings to take care of, so Craig and I headed to the little town of Raglan. For those that are not aware of Raglans existence, it was featured in Bruce Brown’s 1966 movie “The Endless Summer”. This wave is claimed to be the longest and best left-hand point break in the world. It’s a world-class wave, and I’ve never seen a setup quite like it. Upon arrival there was some fun little waves rolling through and we were super quick to get on it. The swell wasn’t huge, but he waves were so fun. Long peeling lefts for a 100 yards or more. The sun was shinning, the waves were fun, and the water was that beautiful turquoise color. It was truly a gift.

We used the abundant sunshine to completely dry out the damp car and try to find Herman. He’s in there somewhere. But still no luck. The nights have been pretty cold and the sun sets pretty early now, but for 3 straight days, we had nothing but warm sunshine. I thought those days were well long and gone. But even winter can surprise you sometimes. As far as seasons go, this is by far my favorite month since I’ve been in New Zealand. After Andrew’s meeting’s, we met back up and went back to Raglan for a few more days of awesome surf. It also happened to be Craig’s 31st birthday on the 17th, so we scored some really fun beach break, surfed until we couldn’t move, then went into town and saw an amazing local reggae band play all night. It was awesome.

Raglan is by far one of the most awesome places I’ve been in New Zealand. It’s beautiful rolling, brilliant green hills drop off right into the ocean on endless sandy beaches, creating this almost mythical landscape where you feel caught somewhere between and a movie and a dream. The waves are perfect and relatively un-crowded. The beaches are soft and warm. The locals and travelers alike are warm and friendly. The community and life surrounding Raglan sucks you in gives you the feeling like you wouldn’t have any trouble staying there for a long time. I’m finding it really interesting how as my time in New Zealand comes to an end, I’m finding more and more beauty than I ever have before. I guess that’s one aspect of traveling that keeps us on the road. There is so much beauty in this world and we only have a lifetime to experience it.

Today we departed with our fellow traveling buddy Andrew as he’s flying over to OZ to check out a school in Perth. But he’s coming back at the end of the week to join back up with us and score more waves. Craig and I are headed north to meet up with some fellow Oly folks, thanks to Zeta (owner of Artisan‘s Group where Andrew and I used to live), that are hanging out in NZ after spending the last 3 years sailing around the world. Craig also had a good friend from home that has family up north and we’re going to try and meet them as well. I’ve only got a few weeks left in NZ, but I’m loving every second of it.

Now to figure out how to sell this car…

Enjoy the Raglan Picts:
http://picasaweb.google.com/ryan.mceliece/Raglan02

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