Sunday, July 05, 2020

The Raglan Adventure

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Today was a more or less impromptu adventure: My first trip to Raglan, a surf community approximately 48 kilometres (around 30 miles) west of Hamilton. The trip was the first of what I hope will become occasional day trips on weekends, mainly to spots that are an easy drive from Hamilton. The plan is that they’ll be a mix of new places to see (or some to see again), markets, etc.

My cousin-in-law and I hatched the plot last night when went out for dinner. We were both free, and thought the idea of day trips was a good one, since we’re both keen to take some photos as well as see different places. Raglan was just the first.

The GPS said it would be about 35 minutes from my house to Raglan, though most estimates say it’ll be 45. Some of the roads are winding and/or hilly, and that may account for the difference in time estimates: If I’d been driving, it would’ve taken longer because I feel less confident on challenging roads.

A Raglan tourist information site describes it this way:
Raglan is a town like no other. Equally popular with tourists, surfers, artists and hippies Raglan is all about the lifestyle. You can wander the cafes and shops, hang out at the beach or catch a wave at the world famous point breaks. Raglan life moves at a slower pace than the rest of New Zealand and those that live there wouldn’t have it any other way.
That’s a pretty accurate description.

We first went to the beaches to take photos. It was cold, mainly due to strong winds. The photo up top is of Manu Bay, and the one below is a selfie looking toward Whale Bay Surfing Beach (we didn’t actually go to that beach because it looked like it was difficult to get to). The photo up top is darker and moodier than the day actually was because I set my white point in the glare so it wouldn't blast out the photo. I kind of like it that way.

After the visiting the wild coast, we headed into Raglan itself, heading to the wharf. We stopped at Soul Shoes, a handcrafted leather goods place (neither of us bought anything), and then went on to lunch: Fish and chips at Raglan Fish, which gets good ratings. It was very nice—and appropriate.

The next stop was Tony Sly Pottery, where we both bought something. After that, with the weather starting to close in, we headed home.

I liked visiting Raglan, and next time I’d like to buy more artisan stuff, and I’d like to visit some of the art galleries there. That’ll take some nicer weather, and maybe on a weekday when it’s not as crowded. We’ll see.

I thought Raglan really did have a laid back, arty vibe—as well as also being like many seaside holiday communities. It was a nice blend.

While we were wandering around the wharf area, I saw a gay couple in one shop, though I didn’t know that at first, since I don’t normally pay much attention to other shoppers in a store. I only realised it because I had to get out of the way of one of them—precisely because I wasn’t paying attention. I saw them again later at another place. The thing is, I always like seeing gay couples because it makes me feel good to see couples enjoying doing stuff together, like Nigel and I did. However, that also make me a little sad because they have what I used to have until nine months ago. Still, it’s entirely possible that seeing them helped influence my generally positive opinion of the place.

I hope to get back to Raglan, but it took me all these years to get there for the first time. Still, I have no idea where these adventures will take me, but I’ll no doubt document what those adventures are.

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rogerogreen said...

beautiful. and the scenery is nice too.

Arthur Schenck (AmeriNZ) said...

Yeah, pity about that old guy getting into that one photo and blocking the view…