With the Horizon of the Pacific in the Distance: Scenes from my morning hikes

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Facts about my daily morning hikes to Te Mata Peak:

I see far more sheep than people

I step on lots of sheep turds

It is quiet except for the whorl and gurgle of New Zealand’s native Tui

It takes me about an hour and forty-five minutes, round trip to complete (I hike up and jog down)

Sometimes the hillside is so steep the fence is sideways

I often find fossils of shells embedded into the rock which serve as reminders that where I’m walking, high above the shoreline, was actually once underwater.

A view like that feels otherworldly, like something happened and you’re in heaven or on another planet (called New Zealand).

Each day the colors slightly change–brown is becoming green and green is becoming brown.  The dry land from the drought is slowly becoming greener, the green leaves of the trees are taking on a yellow-brown tinge.

When I look out at the Pacific in the distance, it’s hard to conceive that the next closest country is Chile.

If I could bottle these hikes up, I would.  I would send them to everyone I know as a Christmas card.