A Break from the City

Day 121- 30 May 2010

After three weekends of having virtually no excitement, spending my days indoors writing essays or procrastinating and pretending to write essays, I was finally able to break free from the city and live life once again. Originally, there was supposed to be a feijoa (yummy little green fruit) festival this weekend at hot water beach but it ended up being relocated because they didn’t get the proper permits-or something like that…but we had already organized a big group and hot water beach sounded cool so we decided to go anyway. After a leisurely Saturday morning we headed out to the Coromandel, which is the body of land sticking out just east of Auckland. Some tourist books have described it as a certain finger directed at Auckland, but being temp Aucklanders we pretend not to hear such things… We went straight to Hot Water Beach, which is this awesome beach spot located right over geothermal activity so you can dig holes in the sand and create your own spa pool (hot tub) right next to the ocean! We got there just after peak time which was awesome because most tourists had left and the tide had yet to come in. We borrowed a shovel and scooped out a little spot for ourselves and hopped on in! Actually it was barely deep enough to cover us when sitting down but it was HOT as and did the trick. Once the tide came in we drove to Cathedral Cove where we raced against the sunset to hike to the cove just in time. It was gorgeous. Then we met up with the other car and went out to dinner and back to the campsite to set up the tents just as it began to rain.

The next morning we went to Cathedral Cove again, because the other car hadn’t seen it and we wanted to be able to take our time with it again. We decided to see everything the trail offered so we stopped at Gemstone Bay- very rocky but beautiful and Stingray Bay-possibly the most beautiful beach I have ever been to. The best part was that there was literally not a cloud in the sky and it was sunny but perfect temperature. At Stingray Bay we climbed over some rocks to reach a little cave area and found some tidal pools. We must have sat there for an hour just staring at the blue sky, bright green islands and crisp clear water all around us. I felt like I was in a tropical paradise and yet it was May!: NZ’s supposed autumn. We finally made it to Cathedral Cove and the water was not cold at all so Chris, Nate and myself went for a long swim. We swam around the cove, over to a rock with lots of bird doodoo on it and to a cave that you couldn’t see from the shore. It felt so good to swim again that I swam back and floated in the water for a long time, while the rest walked around. Eventually though, it was peak hot pools time so we drove back to Hot Water Beach and this time brought our own shovel. We dug out a spot big enough for all 9 of us and sat there till we were wrinkly. A couple times it was too hot so we would run into the ocean for a break. People next to us had pried some mussels off the rocks in the ocean and were cooking them right there in the sand next to them. One group even had eggs. Eventually we had had enough so we trekked back to Auckland. But on the way back stopped for veggie burgers which consisted of a veggie patty, egg, pineapple, beet, “ketchup” and aoli sauce. In other words: delicious. Awesome weekend= just what I needed before my last week of first semester.

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