This month (May) I had two wonderful relaxing weeks at Ohope Beach, about half a dozen kms from Whakatane. The beach has been voted New Zealanders' Favourite Beach.
I couldn't believe the weather. 18-24! In New Zealand, in May!! People were wandering about in shorts, singlets, jandals. There was no wind at all, and I swam about every second day, whilst my friends back home in Wellington were going through one of those innumerable 'once in a century' storms.
It was at the farmers' market in Whakatane where I bought my figs. I was on safari through Miramar New World (my home stomping ground) this week and saw figs here for $20 a kg. What?! It was $3 for a bag of six in Whakatane. This just goes to show that figs can't grow in Wellington, but the higher up the North Island one goes, the price is reduced because the weather is so much warmer.
I went on a guided bush tour one night to listen for kiwi bird mating calls (only in May and June apparently). At one stage, the people ahead of me on the track scooted away, and those behind me weren't there when I turned around. Not one torchlight to be seen ahead of me or behind me looking down-down-down the hill. I kept on walking, pushing through branches. Calls of the kiwi? Who cared about the stupid birds? I was l-o-s-t!! Eventually, however, I caught up with everybody but for about 10 minutes there, my knickers were in such a twist. Oh, yes, I did eventually hear the call of the kiwi - but only when I got back to the carpark.
Here's Ohope Beach.
a log had washed up on the beach and someone had painstakingly done a Maori carving on it.
I went swimming through these huge breakers?
It was a long walk out to the sea at low tide.