Sunday, October 19, 2008

Coromandel Peninsula

Lowell and I took full advantage of our super long weekend by visiting Coromandel Peninsula. We stayed at a hostel on the beach which was pretty posh—really more of a 2-bedroom apartment. We had the whole place to ourselves the first night, but were joined by 2 Germans on night #2, and 1 Austrian and a billion ants on night #3. We’ll get back to the ant thing later.

On Saturday we hiked to Cathedral Cove. The terrain was fairly random, and we even shared part of the path with COWS.

(Those greens really do NOT complement each other...)

The cove was pretty darn cool… but the water was FREEZING! I was trying to gracefully perch myself on the protruding rock to create an ideal photo opportunity, but the giant waves had other plans for me.


There was a rather pathetic little drizzly waterfall near the cove which Lowell thought would make a nice picture… turns out he was right.

For lunch, we booked it to Cook’s Beach (named after Captain James Cook himself!) where we joined the birds and the HOWLING WIND for lunch.

This particular bird stood there looking at us like this throughout the ENTIRE meal. It was pretty cute. Desperate, pitiful, and a little annoying… but cute.

Next- after transporting and feeding a German hitchhiker- was the most anticipated location: Hot Water Beach! It’s basically a ‘dig-your-own-hot-spring’ beach, and there’s only a 3ish hour window each day that the tide is low enough to dig. We were under the impression that hot water was concealed under every square inch of the beach, but we realized we had been deceived after starting 6 holes and only getting freezing cold water. We thought that perhaps if we KEPT DIGGING, we would eventually hit hot water- after all, EVERYONE around us was soaking in a nice hot bath. We dug and dug…. And got no hot water. ZILCH. In fact, the water got COLDER. Eventually we noticed that one of the neighbouring pools had been vacated- so we jumped at the opportunity and sunk our little tooshes in the steaming hot water.

Here’s Lowell breaking ground (the first time)….

Digging digging…

Still digging...

Here’s pool #6- COLD water pool (We have SOME pride. We at least wanted the satisfaction of showing you that we DID put forth the effort to dig our own pool before stealing someone else's).

It was a very popular beach- with interesting people. One man stood in the midst of all the baths, and so OBVIOUSLY began changing. He had his towel to “cover up” below his waist, but it really wasn’t concealing things as one might’ve hoped. He took off his speedo (first mistake), then began liberally rubbing his butt with the towel. THEN he puts his saggy underwear on, lets the towel slide off, and continues to wedge his fingers AND his undies up his crack. Trying to get rid of all the sand, no doubt. So, as if this wasn’t inappropriate enough, he starts playing on the beach IN HIS SAGGY BROWN BRIEFS with his 2 naked kids. It was just weird.

Anyhoo, despite Inappropriate Underwear (or lack thereof) Man, we had a FABULOUS time at the beach and can’t wait to take our families there. With more than just the 2 of us, we can play in the ocean in shifts. We wanted to go in the ocean together (to cool off), but we weren’t about to risk someone snatching our coveted pool.

On Sunday, we had a mission, and that mission was to stand on the edge of Shakespeare’s Cliff. We took the ferry (all alone) to the starting point of the hike.

Again, the terrain was RANDOM. We started on the road with sporadic paths thrown in now and again, then began the steep incline.

Shortly before the top, there was a PASTURE. It was a very "The Sound of Music" moment for me. I HAD to complete the moment with song and dance.

After that little interlude, we finally made our way to the TOP. I was busy snapping pictures of the surrounding beaches, when I noticed that Lowell had gone to the OTHER SIDE of the fence on the edge of the cliff.

Me: “Uh, Lowell- I think they have a fence there for a reason!”

Lowell: “Ya, to keep the kids out.”

Well, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em right? I figured that it’s not every day that we get to KISS on the edge of a CLIFF, so we should get a picture kissing on the cliff! We were alone when we began the timer-setting-picture-taking process, but as we were standing there, lips sealed for 10 SECONDS while we were waiting for the camera to click, an entire group of tourists appeared. I think they found it really awkward- but SERIOUSLY. It was all staged. We’re not in the habit of randomly making out on cliffs.

Here are some other shots from the cliff...
(Lonely Beach is the one in front, and Cook's Beach is behind it)

After we arrived back at the hostel, we made ourselves lunch. Apparently they encourage you to wash and dry your dishes right away for a reason because we discovered ANT INVASION 2008! I swear, the peanut butter/jam knife was only on the counter for like 30 minutes as we skyped with Shareen. After saying our good-byes to Shareen, we turned to discover THIS:


I went on a murderous rampage, and all was good.

We had hoped to dine at Captain Cook’s restaurant to complete the whole 'Captain Cook' experience, but it was closed. (We got the picture anyway).

We also planned on breaking in the wet suits and doing some kayaking, but the weather turned crappy. Ah well, we have several months ahead of us to take up this kayaking business!


Shelley said...

great pictures, julie!! I love cathedral cove, it's so amazing!

Susan said... is gorgeous there! I love hearing your stories. :)