Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Raglan

From Paihia we ventured on to Raglan. Our friends who have traveled, and some whom have lived here, both said Raglan was the place for young people and surfers - and they weren't wrong!
Raglan is a gorgeous town with a bohemium feel to it. The restaurants look relaxed but fancy - and expensive! The sea is beautiful and the shops are dangerous - you may as well give them your pin number and ask them to hire the biggest van they can find for you!

We found ourselves staying on a campsite run by hippies! It was pretty cute with an allotment patch right by our camping spot. They seemed to be growing vegetables and there was lots of sunflowers! On the other side of our spot was a pen with chickens and beyond that the most spectacular views of the sea! The choice of accommodation was camping, or staying in an old train carriage - or these cute little mushroom shaped houses, called Earth Domes!
Please note: Image NOT my own, it was taken from the Solscape website here: http://www.solscape.co.nz/
Surprisingly though, the showers were hot and this was a more than welcome treat!

While in Raglan we visited the Bridal Veil Falls, a 55 meter waterfall, which is absolutely beautiful! It's almost 300 steps down to reach the waterfall at the base - and let me tell you, that really prepared our legs for the horse riding to follow!

Tom and I met Petra, a somewhat strange lady with three ponies who was more than keen to take us for a ride on the beach. Tom got a lovely little plodder called Holly, whom didn't seem to have a second gear and lazily plodded behind us at an elderly humans walking pace. Petra gave me Shelly - mostly because of how close our names are, but mainly because she considered her third horse, Dixie to be more of an advanced ride. I have a fair bit of horse riding experience having been brought up with horses and I've been riding since I was 6. But Shelly was a very difficult horse to ride! I could not get her to do more than a walk, unless Petra was trotting ahead in front with Dixie. I grew increasingly frustrated with the stubborn little pony, and asked Petra if we could swap horses. 

Dixie was so much fun! A little tap with my heels and we were almost galloping across the sand! Now that's more like it! Petra took us off the beach for a short detour up the side of the hill to admire the sea view on horse back. This was a lovely experience, and Tom quite enjoyed himself, although he was dreading it (more concerned about his manhood getting injured!) he would like to do it again, and so would I.. but maybe on more forward going horses!