Winter on Waiheke is quiet. The weather is cool, like November at home. Its certainly not a New England winter, but when its raining and blowing and in the 40s, we miss central heat. Our little space heaters do their best, but with lots of glass, its definitely cold. The television weather last night predicted the coldest week of winter coming up. Well see. The good thing about the cold is that it usually isnt raining so its not as damp. We seem to be at about the mid-winter point, so Im hoping it wont get much worse. Kids still swim at the beach on the warmest days, blokes still wear shorts with their boots, but you see a lot of hats and scarves, too.
A word about mud: its everywhere. Whats more, its not the mud of New Englands mud season; its a thick, yellowy clay that really sticks. All shops, offices, ferry terminalsyou name ithave a sign that says No Muddy Boots at the door and usually a couple of pairs of muddy boots lined up outside. Of course, this means guys are running around the hardware store in their socks, which is rather sweet. After sinking deep in the mud one time too many, Ive moved my morning run from the sports park to The Strand at Onetangi (a beach-side paved road). The Strand along this beautiful beach feels almost like running along Jerusalem Road, just not as hilly.
A couple of weeks ago Steve and I climbed Maori Hill, a local high spot that once was an ancient Maori lookout. Not much in the way of ruins, but the views were spectacular. We missed a turn when starting out and walked much further than necessary. When we finally backtracked and headed up the hill, we were rewarded with gorgeous views around the island.