The walk to the Te Aroha Summit was a bit challenging, but we made it!
from 10 Bracken Avenue, Epsom at 7am ten members shared car-pooling in three cars. Ann and Rose Tremain
waited in Te Aroha Domain. We started walking at 9:17am from Mokena Geyser (the only natural soda water
geyser in the world), and followed the well benched track for about 45 minutes to Whakapipi Lookout that
offers views over the Hauraki Plains. The track continues through a small saddle and then steeply up
for another two hours to the Summit (3.9 km one way, 953 meters). We tramped among tree roots, rocks
and on wooden steps. On the Summit we had 360 degree views across the Waikato and Bay of Plenty. Ruapehu,
Ngauruhoe and Taranaki were visible (the snow-covered tops) in the sunny day. We had our lunch, taking
photos, then headed down on the same track (four members got a lift via Ann’s generous driving).
The rest of the day was relaxed in the hot pool and enjoyed the yummy dinner at RSA. Paul shared his
devotions on Psalm 84. “Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be
a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.”
The final game of rugby world cup was at 8am. We sat in front of TV and watched. Although
All Blacks lost the game, their spirit of never-giving up was inspiring!
We attended the Sunday
Service in St Mark’s Church. It is a small congregation with warm hearts. We were invited to morning
tea after the service. While we enjoyed the tea/coffee and cookies, June (a member of St Mark’s) shared
the history of the organ in their church. The organ is one of a series of the ten pipe organs commissioned
by Queen Anne. It was thought to have been made in 1712. How was it shipped to New Zealand and re-sited
in St Mark’s Church? It’s a long story
We agreed not to do the one-hour walk after the service,
but had our lunch at the Domain Cottage Cafe. After lunch, we drove back to Auckland around 1:30pm.