06 February 2012

New Zealand Chronicles | Peaks & Valleys

9 December 2011

My hair is not typically that color, in case you were curious.
There we were. Sitting on the beach we had planned to visit with hardly any one else around. I would have dared to have said we were living the dream. It was sunnier, if not entirely sunny. I was reading and mostly oblivious to just how much sand was blowing into my curls. For a day a beach going, I thought we had done pretty well. I was about to start fully enjoying that "mission accomplished" feeling when guess what? It was time to move. We were off to the beach. But first, a little more Maitai Bay, because it was just so lovely. 

Testing the water.




We merrily continued our tour of Doubtless Bay by going to Karikari. It's a white sandy beach that's also a five mile track. You have to drive on a gravel road and walk through what we hoped was a controlled burn area just to get close. After navigating the brush in your flip flops (or jandals, as the Kiwis say), you then have to climb the sand and walk down the other side of the hill. But once you arrive, it's breath taking. Think about it. Within a week, I had seen black sand, windswept sand and white sand. There had been regular sand, wet sand, sand that had trees drawn into it and flying sand. I would find sand in my apartment for weeks after my return, and it would make me smile every time. 

Before...





The sun started to come out. Angie always waits for the sun.
And now I totally understand why.

Sand + Sun
After! 
It was overcast and a little windy.
But  I was there, and you need to know that.
Karikari was another almost empty beach. If someone told me there was one beach per Kiwi household, I would believe them. We found exactly one family or couple per visit.  I mean it's possible people had to work on a Friday in early December, but who can be sure?  

We made our way back to bach, stopping at any scenic area Angie deemed worthy. I think I've shown you the best though, though there are some really pretty shots with boats. 

We continued our eat / beach / eat / beach pattern by deciding on Thai for dinner. Angie likes Thai. Don't bother asking me why a woman who won't eat a tomato will eat Thai food, because I can't explain. All I know is that we put on pants and got ready to go. That was kind of the last of the real fun. Just before dinner, Ang had her hopes dashed. I could almost feel the weight creep into the windows of the bach and settle back upon her shoulders. At the same time, the light mood danced away, leaving us with nothing but a pretty view and an uncertain future. Dinner did not help.

We went back to the one street town and had dinner. It was the worst dining experience of the entire trip really. The customer service was horrendous. Ang had her food at least 5, if not 8 minutes before I had mine. I had to ask three times just to get a take away box. The food was okay, but the experience soured it. Back at the bach, we just sat. Ang talked to The Squash Player, who said everything was going to be fine. She actually said that to me. 
"[The Squash Player] said it's going to be okay, and that everything is going to work out." 

"Really? So it doesn't matter that I said it first? '[The Squash Player] says it's going to be fine.' Well then. If he says it, then it must be true."

"Well Danielle you don't know..." 
Do you see that people? Do you SEE? Good. Let's never forget. 

We had considered staying another day, if the weather was going to improve. But with the fun sucked out the room (and with The Squash Player as the only source of comfort), we opted to leave the next day. I showed Ang the full moon and we listened to the water. It was breathtaking in a way that was heartbreaking. A day before it was a world of possibility. That night, it was a treasure on the brink of being ripped away. It was pretty and it was sad. We went to sleep.