Fade to Gray

Today the weather was looking dicey, but we have had such good luck we were optimistic it would get better. We decided we would make the long drive out to Cape Reinga to check out the sites and do a hike along the coast. I was excited to get back there since the last time was in 1981 and it was beautiful.

The famous Cape Reinga
The views we were hoping for on the hike

It was drizzling when we headed out, but we grabbed swim suits, boogie boards, and cameras. It was going to be great. Along the way, we would stop at 90 mile beach which is a beautiful beach that runs along the west coast of the island. It is actually not 90 miles long but rather 88 km long. It got it’s name from early farmers who estimated it’s length from the time it took to ride a horse from one end to the other, which took 3 days and they figured a horse could go 30 miles a day. They just forgot that horses go slower in the sand. Hence the misnomer.

The drive is, of course, windy and through mostly pasture land. We saw a sign for the start of 90 mile beach, so we thought we would drive out and stretch our legs. It turned into a metal (dirt) road and at first we thought we were lost. We were not. It finally popped out on the beach.

We got out and it started to rain. Bummer. No swimming here. We half-hardheartedly walked around for awhile and then got back in the car and headed north.

90 mile beach
Great day for the beach

90 mile beach-2

As we were driving along, all of a sudden I heard some horrified screams coming from Jason, Cynthia, and Susanne. I had been looking down so had no idea what was going on. Did we hit a biker? Did we hit a Kiwi? Was there a car off the road? Nope. Some dude had a flat tire and was changing his tire. That in and of itself would not have elicited that response. Instead it was that he was flashing  his butt crack in a world class way. I am grateful to say I missed it. Cynthia relayed that “that is just not something you can unsee.” It was a mile of moon. Say “no” to crack!

We decided to make a stop at the giant Te Paki sand dunes. I guess you can rent boogie boards and go sliding down the dunes. It was raining pretty hard so the thought of getting sand stuck in every orifice was not appealing so we simply stepped out of the car, took a picture and moved on.

90 mile beach-3
Wet sand up the butt, anyone?

We made our way the final kilometers to Cape Regina. It was either pouring rain, pea soup fog, or both. Our unbridled enthusiasm from the morning was waning. Well, let’s be honest, at this point we knew this had been a colossal waste of time, but we soldiered on.

We got to Cape Reinga and it was raining, with visibility so bad you could barely make out the bathroom. We got out, made our stop at the restroom, looked over the edge, and headed back home.

Our beautiful view of Cape Reinga

I guess every trip has a bad day. At least we have good wine to drown our sorrows.



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