Last Sunday, we had a great day adventuring with our friends Leoni and Nathan. We first met this very kind and hospitable couple while they were visiting their daughter, who works as a doctor in Edmonton, in the winter of 2008. Leonie and Nathan were the only people we knew here prior to our arrival in New Zealand, and it was so wonderful to spend time with some familiar faces.
After going to church with them, we went back to their house, which Nathan (a retired architect) had designed. We were welcomed at the front door with a Canadian flag, a thoughtful and heartwarming guesture. We enjoying a nice meal and hangout at Leonie and Nathan’s beautiful home, before setting our sights on Karikari beach, on the west coast of the island. The rugged and strong Tasman Sea that surrounds the west coast is much more dangerous than the calm Pacific to the East.
The whole afternoon, Nathan was a source of interesting historical facts about the land and the Maori people that had lived on that land years ago.
We first hiked up a path trough the jungle to view the beach from above, then down to the stunning black sand beach.
There were massive cliffs behind us and boulders on either end of the beach. It is really hard to describe and justify the beauty that exuded from that place.
The water was warm, and the waves were terrifying.
The dark black sand mixed in parts with a lighter sand to form mesmerizing patterns.
The landscape is so different from anything we have experienced before. The forest is a jungle, it is so humid and lush, and the rugged cliffs and caves within tell of years of history.
The splendor of Karikari and the company of some kind and familiar faces did indeed make for a memorable adventure.