Wednesday January 9th (Day 2 of our Roadtrip)
We left around 10 to rent sand carpets. The first place we stopped at was disappointedly CLOSED so we ended up driving closer to the sand dunes and renting foam boards with smooth plastic bottoms…aka boogie boards. The rentals of the boards alleviated our unneeded stress of not being able to ride the dune and we were reenergized to ride down the big sand dunes. To our dismay we somehow passed the little turnoff and ended up travelling 10 kilometers before realizing we missed the exit and turned around to head back. We were so thrilled when we found the turnoff.
Combination of our emotions and thoughts that ran through our heads as we reached the parking lot of the Te Paki sand dunes: ‘overwhelmed, joyous, fearful, excited, oh sh!t I have to walk up that hill! holy fu@k that sand looks hot, are we in the desert?, where are the camels?’
After around an hour and a half of adventurous playing and fearful apprehension of dehydration and death we ventured back to the safety of Myrtle. We quickly GUZZLED water. After our lovely lunch break we headed on back to a baby hill for some pictures and last minute adventures before needing to return the 4hour boards at the rental place. At one point during our long trek in the hot sand I told the girls I felt like I was part of the 2nd Sex and The City Movie and a camel was going to appear with Mr. Big. I am so grateful to Emzie for remembering her waterproof/sandproof camera so we could capture ths shots of us onto of the hills. Thank you also to Ana and Em for taking some gorgeous shots of me in action after our lunch break. I felt a little naked not carrying my iphone on the dunes but I felt it best to leave it in the car safely away from all the sand. We treated ourselves to some cold refreshing ice cream before our drive to another beach destination.
Rarawa Beach time!!! Only about a 15-20 minute windy road drive followed by gravel patch to a glorious white sand beach. We only stayed for around 45mins because we knew we had another beach stop right after. The sand was so fine and white and Ana LOVED that the sand was squeaky. The water was so clear! We could see our feet through the water. There were millions of shiny beautiful shells. So glittery and small. We took some pictures of the water and collected shells before climbing back into our hot hot car.
Last stop of the day was spectacular. The drive to 90 Mile beach wasn’t too bad. We were all really keen to get there since we had; read, seen, and heard so much about it. We were kind of surprised by the lack of signage considering it’s popularity among the travel books and postcards. We drove along long gravel roads with gorgeous trees on either side. As I was driving, I couldn’t help commenting how it felt like I was living out a poem or scene from a movie or book. I didn’t REALLY know what the feeling?! It was so weird that we were driving through a huge forest that only had a two lane gravel road so we could get to this breathtakingly beautiful 90mile long beach. I don’t really know how to explain it. It wasn’t déjà vu but it just felt – unfamiliar – but somehow I was completely amazed and aware. No one else in the car really understood what I was feeling but it was just such a weird feeling of driving through this massive forest on a rock road to A BEACH. I couldn’t verbalize the sensation correctly because I have NEVER FELT it before but it was a sense of comforting awe?…still don’t really know but the feeling of nature and going towards something so incredible made me feel like I was LIVING. Let’s move on from that topic before everyone starts to think I am crazy!!
When we arrived at the beach I was looking for parking but THERE WAS NO DESIGNATED lot. I just drove on the beach and it was an indescribable feeling of joy. You could park anywhere on the beach. Some cards were driving along while others were parked. We drove a ways down the beach before settling on a place to park. I won’t lie: I was thrilled to be driving on the beach yet paranoid that the car would struggle through this unexpected adventure. The waves were so strong. We were startled to feel the waves powerful force the first time we almost got dragged away. It knocked me off my short legs and I was soaked in minutes! We wanted to go swimming in the ocean but quickly changed our minds when Ana spotted the first jelly fish. As I had never seen one before I thought it was just floating seaweed. We got to take pictures of them all along the beach and loads of pictures of our All Star Myrtle (Myrtle the Turtle is the car my Kiwi family fondly named the Au Pair’s car) then moved her back a ways as the tide was coming in quickly. After lots of frolicking on the beach and a million pictures we decided it was time to head on back to the hostel…but not before a mini drive to the other side of the beach.
We had a quick dip at the hostel’s pool to try and rid our bodies of sand before jumping into the showers. After we were all cleaned up we enjoyed some noodles and yummy drinks. For our evening entertainment we watched slideshows of all the days’ pictures. It is always a good laugh to see what pictures we have taken from our 3 (good quality) cameras, 2 iphones, 1 itouch, and a water proof camera! Lots of the same angles are captured but also many candid pictures. WE all love to take pictures of people taking pictures but hate BEING CAUGHT taking them 🙂
Tomorrow we need to pack and be checked out by 10am. I think we are getting free wi- so I will be able to post these blogs. So far this road trip has been a blast and so many AMAZING memories and countless photos captured.
*Thank you so much to Ana, Em and Kristy for their very insightful contributions – I typed and we all spouted out suggestions so this blog could be completed! TEAMWORK!