Yesterday I drove 3 hours up North to Whangarei (that’s pronounced "Fun-gar-ae") to take the monks (and Nina and John) on Tudong…The trip, frankly, was a Tudong all it’s own; getting out of the monastery we were stopped twice; first Grahm the builder was on the phone trying to rectify an order problem…It seemed that we had the wrong lengths and quantity of macrocarpa timber and Ajahn was going to be needed to confirm and correct things, but after double-checking it turned out that things were really OK after all…Then the timber delivery guy showed up just as we were going to leave, and although I implored Ajahn to stay in the vehicle and look away, he got out again to talk to the timber trucker…We were supposed to leave at 12:30. It was 1:30 by the time we were finished with this.
Once THAT was over I started driving to Bombay. 8 kilometers from the monastery a cop nails me for speeding. 66 kph in a 50. It was a school zone, granted, but I was going down a 30 degree incline and school was in session, not letting out. I say he was being an ass. But then so does anyone who gets a ticket. $120 in the wallet; ouch…That’s a rather significant chunk of my savings and I’m about to go tramping…That really sucked. The monks, Nina, John, and eventually myself, laughed it off though and gave me yet another nickname: 66.
We dropped Nina off in Auckland; got lost for another half an hour trying to find out way back to the highway; then made it back on and it was a straight shot to Whangarei at that point. We stopped off briefly at a beach in the Northlands where I took some pictures and we watched some windsurfers at their sport…The sky was steely gray and the cliffs and waters made for a nice contrast (see Facebook). Once we got into Whangarei, Ajahn called up some folks I’d seen a few times at Dana who were going to put them up for a week. At that we parted ways; I was offered the chance to stay for tea but I wanted to use up what light I had left to get back to the monastery and so I drove back.
Which gets me to TODAY. Today I spend the morning shopping for food and last-minute tramping supplies…I’m pretty psyched and not quite sure what to expect for this grand adventure I’m embarking on…I’ve a few major locations chosen…I want to go back to Whangarei. And from there to Cape Reinga. Then eventually make my way to the Whirinaki National Forest…Back to Rotorua again…Possibly Tauranga as well; one of the builder’s sons invited me to go fishing sometime and I intend to take him up on that. Here in the Franklin county region there’s plenty to boot…And If I have the time and funds I’d also like to hit the Abel-Tasman track, so I can say I’ve set foot on the South Island as well. So many options…For now I think I’ll wander Franklin county and head due East towards Kaiaua…There’s some coastline there I saw when I first arrived, when Mike picked me up from the airport and drove me to the monastery, that I knew I wanted to camp at, so I’m going back to do just that.
And finally, I mean to make a meditation out of this…Specifically exploring stress in the form of entertainment (or lack thereof) and the mindstates that arise. Other than a guide to breath meditation, I’ll have no books, no novels, no mp3 player, no TV…My food’s tasty but fairly basic…When I get into towns I’ll get an hour or two of net access but in between that’s it. I’ll have to write out my gear list sometime soon.
I’ll update here when I can but they will be intermittent at best. Which means basically nothing will change haha.