27 December 2011

New Zealand Chronicles | Doing It Right

Saturday, 3 December 2011

The point of the day was to hit two beaches and possibly watch a I know. It's a tough life vacationing in New Zealand. We left Matakana and made our way to Tawharanui, that's taf-ra-NEW-ee. Forget how it's spelled. That won't help you. The "wh" (obviously) makes a "f" sound, just like a "ph." Clear as mud. We drove through all kinds of countryside. There were cows and sheep and horses and a lot of grass. It's all quite lush and while I was looking for something akin to Middle Earth, I was reminded very much of Jurassic Park, the first one. You know the part when Sam & the crew are running with the velociraptors from the T-Rex? Sam is his real name, it wasn't his character's name. But whatever. If you saw the movie, you know the part. And that's what I was waiting to see around nearly every corner; a man and some kids running with a herd of dinosaurs. The whole ride was an adventure.

Tawharanui was beautiful. It was (as I've started saying) beyond. There's not much that happened on the beach. We sat. I read. Angie started planning the next leg as soon as we had the blanket down. It goes back to her "journey is the reward" nonsense. It was a constant battle to get her to stop and take the moment. I'm not sure which of us won. 

The view in one direction.

The view in the other direction.

We sat on the beach and did what we used to do on the phone. We talked about people we both know. We talked about our families. We talked about the uncertainty of the future and about years spent chasing things / accomplishments that all of a sudden did not matter. We were quiet. We picked up and went for a walk. 







I could go on with these forever.


Dead fish next to a rock shaped like Australia.


The open road.
Eventually we left. I'm not sure why. I could have sat there for two weeks. We got back on our gravel road (that totally connects to a slightly larger road) and headed in the direction of another beach. We stopped at the Okakari Point Marine Reserve and got a look at Goat Island. There were people snorkeling and other people getting ready to surf. Bless them and their ambition. 

A stop along the way.
Goat Island.

Birds on some poles.

Yes. I saw those clouds. No. I don't know if Angie did as well. I do know we drove right into them, via a windy road that went up (then down) a mountain. I convinced Ang there would be less cloud cover once we got to sea level. It gave her enough (false) hope to get us there. "There" was Pakiri Beach. Just like every other beach we would visit, there were only a handful of people out. It's as if the Kiwis don't know what they have. Obviously it takes to Americans to really do the country right.
To one side...
To the other side.

That night Ang & I met up with The Squash Player & mates to watch a Fight for Life, charity boxing match between rugby players. And apparently not all rugby players are created equal, some were "league" players, and therefore not "professional" players. I guess I would compare it to NFL players vs arena football players. But I know nothing about arena football. Does that even exist anymore? Irrelevant. On my first Saturday night in New Zealand, we watched a boxing match. I was so local. And I loved it.