It's been a long time since I took Mangapai Caves Road through to the caves. When I turned off down the road yesterday it wasn't with any intent other than revisit a drive I hadn't done for a while. At the corner of Graham Road I decided I'd go that way, I don't think I've ever been up that road before.
My timing for meandering along an unsealed metal (gravel) road was perfect. There's been just enough rain to pack down the metal leaving a relatively smooth surface. The road twists and turns ever upwards. At least it did when I decided to turn back and return to complete the trip another day when I've remembered to visit the loo before I set out. There are no public amenities out here.
I only passed two vehicles and could stop often to take in the views. This one is looking inland towards the hills of home:
From a different spot looking east, towards the harbour
I know I can't be relied upon to take photos of a straight horizon and I struggled to straighten this shot until I settled on the tree in the foreground. I just hope it has grown straight as the wind would be a bit fierce on these hills.
When I first came to New Zealand all those years ago green, hilly country like this used to freak me out. Literally. I couldn't sleep at night in hilly countryside. I'd dream that those hills were closing in on me and wake up panicked, feeling I couldn't breath. (Isn't it weird that you add a k to panic to make the past tense?) I'd yearn for the wide open harsh dry flat countryside of Queensland's north west.
Now I can't imagine living anywhere else.