With less than a week to go before heading back to California, we lucked out and were able to go to a bach (holiday cottage) at Pukehina Beach. The weather had been very blowy and not very pleasant but we certainly won't going to give up the interlude opportunity presented to us. So on Saturday, after going to a disappointing Avocado, Food and Wine Festival, we packed out bags, food, books and odds and ends and headed to the beach.
The weather calmed down and we had two-and-a-half wonderful days. The cottage is literally on the beach. Just a few steps across the grass, down a couple of steps and you're on the sand. The beach stretches for miles, is fairly flat and perfect for walking. And the first thing we did, well, actually second as we unpacked the car, was to go for a walk.
The water is not warm! In fact, it is downright chilly, but perfect for cooling the toes. Cottages line the beach, but with it being almost out of season, there were hardly any people on the beach. The ones that were there were mostly fishing, throwing sticks for their dogs, or just walking like we did.
Cocktail hour on the deck was perfect and later, after a nap, we watched the almost-full moon rise over the water. It was magic! The air is so clear and clean, the night sky sparkled with all the stars.
Although the bach has two bedrooms and a sleepout (extra sleeping quarters unattached to the house) I decided to sleep on the couch on the deck so I could be lulled to sleep by the sounds of the surf. The moon was so bright that I had to make a cocoon out of the duvet so it covered my eyes and there was just a small breathing hole!
Next morning, as usual I was the first one up and woke to a brilliantly clear, calm day and went for a long walk to where the estuary pours into the lagoon. On the tip of land we were on, the area was roped off as it is a native bird nesting area. It's amazing how the birds know they are safe in there and completely ignore humans! The variable oystercatchers were in fine form and very visible, but the Adriatic tern and New Zealand dotterel are masters of disguise, blending into the dunes.
The rest of the day was spent lounging around reading and generally doing nothing - and it felt wonderful. By the end of the day, I was exhausted and once again slept on the couch on the deck, loving the surf sounds.
Monday morning was another lazy day but the weather had changed and we were getting the beginnings of the huge front moving in from the north. By the time we were ready to leave mid-afternoon, it was beginning to rain.
So we got the absolute best weather for the time we were there - it was perfect!
Now I am sorting through all my "stuff" and deciding what I will leave behind as I have gathered "things" that I need to take back with me. Tomorrow I will do the final packing and then Thursday we head to Auckland for my 3:50 flight. I arrive at LAX on Thursday before I left Auckland, picking up the day I lost at the International Date Line on my flight over.
It's sad to be leaving and I had considered staying longer or going back via South Africa but with the damn lawsuit that has to be handled, I have to head back.
And of course I wouldn't even be here, or had such a wonderful time these last couple of months if it wasn't for Jenni giving Zoze a present for her 70th birthday - my ticket!