Garrett (garote) wrote,

NZ Day 4: Maxin' and Relaxin' In Matapouri

I'm not actually sure what "maxin" means in this context. But I'm a 30-something so the phrase is wedged into my brain.

The first thing Kerry and I did - after a long sleep of course - was to walk slowly to the general store. Kerry flossed at the same time, because we are true heroes of efficiency.

Along with the usual candy and soda, we found enough ingredients here to make a decent Indian dish for lunch and dinner.

So far all the roads we've been on have been scrupulously well maintained. We told a couple of locals how impressed we were, and each of them laughed and said "Naaah". Maybe there was a recent push to improve the roads?

On the other hand, sidewalks and curbs are rare here, and the lanes are narrower, and most of the bridges are one-way.

Kerry's leg was feeling cramped and sore, so we walked very slowly to the beach. There were only a few people around, and the weather was fantastic! Here's a video of some of our antics, using the helmet-camera planted in the sand:

Whoooo bodysurfing! I almost lost my hat a few times.

Kerry went back to the beach house to rest some more, so I decided to walk to the Mermaid Pool formation in the meantime.

I think this little kerchief is supposed to mark the beginning of the trail ... But it might just be a lost swimsuit!

The trail, by the way, is steep. In some places you have to haul on ropes to stay upright.

At the top of the climb, you enter a lovely chunk of tropical forest. The cicadas get so loud they drown out the ocean, and the trail twists and curves so much that you can't see it beyond the next 15 feet.

I wouldn't want to carry a surfboard or a cooler through here! Of course, first I'd have to drag it up the hillside...

I can't remember the last time I've wandered in a forest like this one. Perhaps this is the first time. I was fascinated by the texture and color of the trunks, and kept brushing my hands across them as I walked.

Eventually I emerged and saw the ocean again.

In the distance I could spot the "Poor Knights Islands". That's where we're going tomorrow! Sweeet! Then I looked down, and saw the pools...

Quite lovely! And due to the lateness of the day and the season, I had them all to myself.

The pools are filled up slowly by the high tide, then drained slowly by the low tide. The water is a bit warmer than the ocean, deep enough to swim in, and a lot less turbulent than the surf. And of course the colors are amazing, even on a less-than-perfect day like today...

Here's a handy example of why modeling the physics of water is difficult!

The waves would constantly send water thundering up the rocks and just over the edge, causing a little bit to flow into the pool on the other side.

I lingered for quite a while, enjoying the wind and the light, and the all-encompassing boom of the surf. Eventually the sun dropped below the horizon and I reluctantly started back. Here's a little video I took while creeping through the forest:

Tromp tromp tromp!

Eventually I wandered back to home base, and had a lovely dinner with Kerry. This little critter spied on us for a while, until I tossed it out the door:

First time I've ever had a praying mantis wander into the house!

All in all, our stay in Matapouri was very restful, which was just what we needed after the previous day's ordeal. We weren't looking forward to the early-morning bike ride that would take us to the snorkeling activity, but we couldn't find any good alternatives to it. In retrospect we could have hired an independent shuttle operator to pick us up, and probably our bikes too, if only we'd known the contact number for one in advance. Oh well... Knowledge gained for the next trip!
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