… Or how a simple picnic on the fields of Hamilton Lake turned into an overnight trip to the Coromandel. I will explain.
Last week was Eid Al-Adha or Islamic “Feast of the Sacrifice”. It is the feast where Muslims commemorate Abraham’s willingness to offer his son, after which God replaced his son with a ram. But let’s go back to the picnic.
A group of Saudi students came up with the idea to gather at the lake to celebrate Eid Al-Adha. Saudis wouldn’t be Saudis if there was no food involved, so there had to be coffee and sweets. Or perhaps a barbecue? Somehow, this idea grew into a “let’s rent a house and gather there”-plan, but there were no available houses to their liking around Hamilton. There was, however, a picturesque Victorian villa somewhere in the Coromandel, about a 2.5 hours drive from Hamilton.
The details were discussed, the booking made when Ahmed threatened to obstruct the endeavor: He did not want to stay somewhere overnight without me and Maria. The alternative, returning to Hamilton alone late at night, was not an option for him either. His friends convinced him to join them by turning the plan into a family trip, including a motel stay for the wives and kids a few kilometers away from the guys’ villa. And so we all went…
While the trip was too short to really explore the surroundings, we got at least a taste of this beautiful region that begs us to come back soon. The drive up to Coromandel Town was filled with green pastures, windy roads and deep blue ocean colors.
Coromandel Town itself had nothing too impressive to offer, but the area makes for wonderful walks in the mountains and along the coast, kayaking, gold mining activities or tranquil hours in a spa pool.
As it was only the second time we went on an overnight trip with Maria, and this time without bringing her bassinet, I was slightly nervous how things would go. These nerves turned out to be totally unnecessary, as she slept peacefully in the travel cot we got at the motel. And although her day-time naps were all while driving in the car, she kept really well. It was also a good opportunity for her – and a nice break for me – to spend some time with “strangers”. The 10-year-old daughter of one of the other families was happy keeping her entertained during the drive as well as when we arrived. It was fun to see Maria laugh and interact with other people.
I’ll leave you with some more pictures of the trip. Apologies for the mediocre quality; they’re all made with our cell phones. Somehow I can’t really bother to bring my big camera on trips anymore. I guess it’s just too much hassle when I already have a baby (and all the stuff that comes with it!) to hold. I’m still hoping though I will get back to photography when my family is here. They will arrive in about a month’s time, so I’m pretty excited and look forward to some more travels!