Sunday, January 9, 2011

Jumping into Waterfalls and Piha: The Black Sand Beach

So much time has passed so quickly: I a currently in a library outside of Auckland trying to catch up on everything. I will split this update into several blog posts to make it easier to follow. Let's see how much I can accomplish.

Last I left you, we thought we were going to retrieve our faithful station wagon Adalaide and be off but we were wrong! She was not ready and wouldn't be ready until today (Monday). However, Lance the Mechanic just handed Tim and I keys to a rental car: no checking our IDs, no mileage calculations, no papers - just keys. We were off! Picking up supplies and Mike and Dan from Debbie's house, we planned to spend the evening in Piha and to enjoy the beach! Debbie's neighbors, 5 New Zealand brothers, invited us to go jump off a waterfall so we followed. We lost a hub cap trying to keep up with their driving but we made it: we climbed down a cliff to find this pool at the foot of a waterfall! It was beautiful. We jumped off the cliff into the pool and one thing led to another before all 5 brothers were naked and jumping from cliffs and trees. A small family appeared at the foot of the waterfall and the looks of disgust the two 12 year old girls gave at the sight of the naked boys were nothing compared to the looks of shock on the brothers' faces.
I only jumped into the pool once but considering my terrible fear of heights it was more than I expected to do! I am trying to Say Yes: as encouraged by Brian the backpacker from Portland Oregon at the Auckland Couch Surfer meeting.
The brothers invited us to their house for a BBQ and we headed off to Piha: the Black Sand beach. We arrived in glee, sprinting off into the ocean and throwing ourselves in the waves. It was magnicifcent! The beach was black and the water was warm, frothy, and clear. We were pummeled by the waves and had a fantastic time getting whipped around. Before we knew it, it was 8:30pm and going to get dark soon!
We shot off back into Titirangi, grabbed food and internet, booked out tickets to Hobbiton for the next day, and decided to Guerrilla Camp that night.
We drove towards MataMata (where Hobbiton is located) for about an hour before searching for a patch of ground to camp on. We found a spot of flat ground to set up the tent on the side of the road, but it's only big enough for two people to sleep in so Tim and Mike slept in the tent. Dan reclined in the front seat and I slept curled up on the back seat on the side of the road. It was pretty hilarious waking up at 8am to wave to the farmer whose land we parked on and take off on our adventure. Hilarious in the most cramped way imaginable.

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