Saturday, August 2, 2008

Westward Ho!

Saturday dawned with a definite determined feeling. We would go for a walk in nature regardless of what the skies could tip on us. The wild west coast was calling. For those who don't know Auckland the western suburbs quickly give way to native bush clad hills and wide open beaches that glimmer with shiny black volcanic sand. Sometimes you can't resist the call of this wild place and the 40 min drive is not much of a deterrent.

Equipped with all manner of coats, scarves, and hats we set forth, stopping in Titirangi for a tummy filling feast at the Hardware Cafe. I tucked into eggs benedict with salmon & portobello mushrooms and a mochaccino. Feeling replete we continued along Huia Rd.
The Lower Nihotupu dam was full and a lot of water was flowing over the curved edge to the canal below. I was keeping my head warm in my possum hat.

Further along we made several detours on side roads to check out wharves, bays and reserves - all devoid of other people which added to the peaceful feeling of wilderness. Mostly the rain held off or only fell when we were driving.

One of the viewing platforms was inhabited by a bunch of very fancily dressed multi-coloured chickens and roosters who swooped on us and danced around with joy as we fed them some exotic walnut & honey bread we had purchased in Titirangi. The black one with the long blonde hair looked like some Hollywood porn star out on the town, the way it swaggered around as if on high heels.

At Whatipu peninsula we donned raincoats and zipped up for the walk across black sand dunes and native bush to the rocky coast. On a previous visit here (with Mari) we had ventured around to the caves but today was a bit rough. I remember feeling gobsmacked when I learnt that the largest cave used to have a dancefloor and balls were held there. The thought of people at this wild and inaccessible cave on a deserted coast in evening dresses and suits made and still does make me smile. I guess life was different in those days.
Whatipu is home to many burial caves, terraces, rock shelters, middens and four major Pa sites.
In the late 1870's up until 1922, there was a timber mill at Whatipu. An old dance floor from the timber milling days in the late 1800's and early 1900's is believed to be still under the caves at Whatipu today.

When we got out onto the flat sands the wind picked up and the rain got heavier so we did a quick circuit and headed back to the car feeling virtuous for at least giving it a go. We rewarded ourselves with a couple of delicious hazelnut and cinnamon buns from an isolated cafe/corner shop. More Whatipu history here.


mariSh said...

I love the chooks! Cannot wait when I will get my own...

mariSh said...