There is so much beauty that surrounds me that I am still not able to come to terms with it. May be such overwhelming beauty takes getting used to.
Every little nook and corner here is so nicely landscaped, so green and so picturesque. Imagine scattered sheep grazing the grasslands, quaint little wooden houses dotting the bylanes, beautiful colours of autumn juxtaposed against the lush green grasslands, quiet lanes out looking the sea and sunlight dancing off the surface of the sea in a myriad of wonderful colours!! It’s impossible not to be affected by this sheer beauty. These beautiful landscapes that make you want to be a painter.
I was in Singapore for almost a month before moving to NZ. Now no doubt that Singapore is also beautiful, but it’s nothing like NZ. I know that it is not an apple to apple comparison but these are the only two countries I have seen apart from my hometown. So I can’t help ‘not’ compare.
Singapore is painstakingly perfect. It’s plastic. It’s manmade. The skyscrapers, the brilliantly advanced, modern buildings are somewhat daunting. You feel somewhat intimidated standing in front of 150 storey high-rises, all glass and twinkling lights. The whole country is so prim and proper that it looks like a movie set. Moreover, in my entire duration of my trip there, I hardly saw anyone smiling. They all had frowning, grumpy expressions on their face. I mean no offence to Singapore, it IS brilliant…but in technological sort of way. Not in a way that touches your heart. But that apart, I had a whale of a time with my family. We went around the city-state and did all things touristy, expect taking photographs. Singapore is all about malls, and women’s shopping, and luxuries, and brands, and Jimmy Choos, and Versace and Calvin Kleins and Tommy Hilfigers and Armanis and Coco Chanels and all things expensive. What is wrong with that, you would possibly ask. Nothing. Just that it gets overwhelming after a point. How much can you possibly shop?
But I must admit that the infrastructure in Singapore is beyond awesome. The Public transport is so efficient, so reliable and so safe that is very easy and convenient to go from Place A to Place B alone at any time of the day, without using much help. The whole country practically operates on almost a Six Sigma Level of perfection. It is very awe-inspiring.
Coming back to NZ now. NZ is beautiful because of its natural bounty, because of its little imperfections. This place has a soul. People are warm, smiling, approachable and friendly. You have so many things to do here, so many beaches to see, beaches that stretch for miles, there are road trips to make, there are adventures to do, there is parasailing, there is normal sailing, there is camping, there is trekking, there is scuba diving, there is bungee jumping, there is river water rafting and what not. There is a lot to do for the city lover types also. There are bars, there are clubs, there are discs, and there are nice fancy places to eat out. There is something for everyone.
Last weekend, TCG and I made an impromptu plan to go trekking. We went to a place called Red Rocks Reserve. It was an easy 3 hour coastal trek. Yes, yes, walking along the coast for 3 hours. It was a surreal experience. These rocks were formed hundreds of millions of years ago by undersea volcanic eruptions. And they are red, obviously because of iron oxidization. But there are legends that tell otherwise.
Along the coast there, were three or four baches. TCG said that baches are simple beach houses, that have been around for hundred of years and have been kept in their original forms by their house owners.
Further down from Red rocks is a place called Sinclair Head, an area where hundreds of seals come and visit between May and September. Since we went in April, we didn’t see hundreds of seals, but we definitely saw a few scattered here and there lazying on top of the rocks. These were not the slimy variety of seals that I had grown up seeing on Discovery Channel. These were rather furry. An average fur seal weights upto 160 kgs. Yes.
Here, take a look.
I love outdoors, and I love treks. And this one along the coast was long but easy. We had packed our lunch and ate it on the go. It was cool and very breezy and I had to run back to the car to fetch the spare sweater in there. So in all I was wearing three layers. My t-shirt, my jacket and that spare jacket from the car. Yes, I was looking funny, but heck when it’s that cold, comfort should take over fashion, if you really want to enjoy outdoors. All in all, it was a day well spent.
And on our way back home, I got to see this. I had never seen Kite sailing before.