On the road to Coromandel, the missus and I stopped at a private garden walk/ waterfall hike, some private sanctuary a German hippie couple set up in the 60’s, mostly to get off the road, but also to be relieved of that burdensome twenty dollars that was weighing down our wallets.
The guy at the counter testified that the garden walk was worth it alone.
It’s worth repeating. New Zealand is expensive.
But it is worth it.
See, happy flower…
A happy duck…
Another happy flower…
And, of course, the waterfall….
I lost my sunglasses trying to get a close-up of the water, while balancing on the rocks they slipped from my pocket, and I watched them float to the bottom in stupid slow motion. I tried to get them out, with a long stick I trawled the bottom and almost had them within reach but then they shifted ever-so-slightly and drifted under a rock forever.
Or… till… one of the workers scoops them out. Or maybe an intrepid skinny-dipper.
I wanted them back for two reasons. One, I didn’t want to be a heel and leave litter at the base of a beautiful waterfall. And two, I really liked those glasses, they’ve seen a lot with me.
But they couldn’t ask for a better resting place, I tell ya.
We still had a couple of hours of driving before the town of Coromandel. We wanted to get into our lodgings in time for dinner somewhere in town. So far it seems that the trip rotates around meal times. They serve as destination markers in which to guide our travels.
The east coast of the peninsula rates as one of the world’s best drives so we felt obligated to pull over by the beach and gaze out over the water with awe, pick up plain white sea shells and look at them dumbstrucked.
“They’re so many of them.”
“Yeah, the beach is made of them.”
I’ve sat on many a California beach and played with the sand, and looked at the water, and had those cosmic, wondrous thoughts… but it’s not the same as when you’re 10,000 miles and half a day away.
The immensity is humbling. The thoughts are super-super wondrous. And the shells were plentiful.
Once we soaked it all in, got our fill of the Pacific and the shells, we headed back on the road.
It was calling us like the ocean through a conch…