Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Day 14 Zig Zagging

Dargaville to Russell
Distance: 130 km
Time: 5 hours
Location: 35 15’40.9”S, 174 07’33.7”E

Today we cheated and rode two buses and a ferry to our next destination. We are once again trying to stay one step ahead of the weather…only time will tell. We packed up quickly this morning in Dargaville and caught the first bus to Whangarei. A few hours later we rode the Northliner to Paihia. From there, we rolled our bikes onto the ferry. We’re now happy to be in Russell, a beautiful ocean town in the Bay of Islands.
The Bay of Islands is a frequent stop on the tourist track, about 240 km northeast of Auckland. With 150 plus islands, the area is known for its sailing, dolphin swimming and bay cruises. Fortunately, development has stayed on the mainland and the islands are very natural.
The Bay of Islands also holds a great deal of historical significance. It is where European colonization started in New Zealand and it is also the place where the Treaty of Waitangi was first signed in 1840. I plan to share more on this after we have a chance to visit the Waitangi Reserve.
You might have noticed some of the names of places in New Zealand are not easy to pronounce. Our language lessons have been taken from the back of our Lonely Planet guide and listening closely to people through conversations. Many names are Maori, which is closely related to the Polynesian language. So far, it hasn’t been too hard to say the vowel combinations. It’s the special double consonants that are a bit confusing. For instance, “wh” is really pronounced as an “f”. So, Whangarei would be pronounced “Fanga-rye”. Between the Maori names and the Kiwi accent, we have been fully immersed in the culture here.

1 comment:

Red Yeti said...

So you are saying that the word "what" would be pronounced "fat"? So now I am confused! Should I use "ph" Phat or should it be "wh" What? I am dilect challenged, please help!!!