25 October 2011

Treasure hunt


Sam, Richard & I went hiking, or "tramping" as they call it here, in search of a good spot for gold panning.  While the boys panned, I poked around in search of crystals, and of the three of us, I found the most booty.




I found a very nice river rock lined with crystals on all sides.  It was much too large for me to haul away, but Sam is a good caveman husband, so he decided to pry it out and break it apart by smashing it down on rocks in the riverbed.  Now we have some very nice specimens to take home with us!

Wet feet
I wish I had waterproof hiking boots.  We had to wade through water up to our ankles on the trail.


We hiked around in search of old mines after leaving the riverbed, but we didn't find any.  We did find some more interesting crystals, though.  One eroding hillside was made entirely of quartz floating in clay, and another area had crumbling chunks of sulfur & galena.

Sunset from Patrick & Christiane's house
The view from Patrick & Christiane's house at sunset.

We left Thames today, and it was hard to say goodbye.  At least we're going back in a few days on our way down to Rotorua.  We'll be at the tip of the Coromandel Peninsula for the next two days with a CouchSurfer named Scott.  We spent the day driving up the gorgeous coastal road to Matarangi and exploring the beach.  Matarangi is a very quiet place, too isolated for me to want to live here, but very nice to visit.  The internet is limited here, so I probably won't blog again until we've moved on in a few days.

More crystal pictures coming soon!

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