Day 2 of our trip began with an early morning jaunt into the Symmonds Street Cemetery. No, there was no climbing of gravestones or sprinting around mausoleums. But we did find a trail that led to the bottom of a ravine and the base of an enormous bridge. After a quick canvassing of the area, everyone was able to find a heavy object to squat, an area to work handstand holds, and a beam to hang rings from for toes to bar. We divided the group into 4 x 1 minute stations: squats, toes to bar, handstand holds, and stair sprints. We set the clock for 20 minutes, giving everyone 5 times at each station. The goal was to hit the same number of reps each round for each exercise, but that proved quite the challenge. Squatting logs and stones becomes pretty dicey when you're out of breath. But it was a great way to break a sweat before hopping in the car for the drive out to Mount Maunganui and the coast. And it was good to see everyone willing to get their hands dirty. A good omen for the rest of the trip.
The drive to Mount Maunganui took around 3 hours, just enough time to get everyone acclimated to the 12 person van that was going to be our transportation for the next 10+ days. We learned quickly that bathroom breaks needed to be frequent, music needed to be uptempo, and snacks needed to be readily accessible. Also, we were driving on the left side of the road from the right side of the car. That took some adjustment.
All things considered, I think we did a damn good job navigating our way out of Auckland. Parking in Mt. Maunganui, however, was a bit of a challenge. We dumped the trailer at our hotel, found a good burger spot on the main drag, then hit the beach for some free time. We got lucky as far as weather, with some offshore wind creating perfect waves for body surfing and the sun keeping us warm enough to do it without a wetsuit. We spent the remainder of the day swimming, exploring the volcanic hillside overlooking the bay, and even chasing a few sheep.
Afterwards we headed back to the hotel where we cooked dinner and admired each other's sunburns. Honorable mentions in this area go to Sven, Brittany, and Jason… all of whom would be pealing for the rest of the trip due to day 2.
Check out the highlights from day 2 below.