I had a tough decision to make this morning. I woke up not feeling well, a common occurrence for people my age the morning after Saturday night. All I wanted to do was stay in bed all day, but I had planned on traveling to Piha Beach and go hiking in Waitakere Park. So I made myself get up, pack my things, fill my water bottle, and go. I am so glad I did.
I took the scenic route, which turned out to be the most fun road I have ever driven on. It was full of winding turns, steep hills, beautiful sights, and stretches of pavement that were so narrow traffic had to slow down to pass each other. I would have loved to take pictures of the most treacherous parts, however there was nowhere to pull over and, frankly, I was having too much fun to stop. I had planned to go hiking in the park before heading to the beach, but the road I was going to take had a gate down and I decided to go on to the beach and find another hiking area later.
It took me about 50 minutes to get from my flat to the beach. There was one small detour along the way, when I came around a corner and saw this:
I knew at this moment, I had made a very good decision this morning. Spoiler Alert: I climbed that big hunk of rock later in the day. From this vantage point, I saw a car park right beside the beach and used my phone to figure out the route to get to it. The weather was really nice, about 66 degrees with a very steady wind coming off the water. The beach was huge, and the sand was a very dark brown. The waves were coming in so strong, there was no way I could have gone out for a swim and lived to tell about it.
I spent about two hours walking around on the beach and climbing over rocks. I think I took about 100 photos because everything was just so amazing. At some point while walking around I thought, “Yeah, this is why I came to New Zealand.” I saw people on the big rock and immediately starting looking for the trail to get to the top. I found it, and climbed for about 8 minutes to get as far up as I could. I stayed up there for about 20 minutes just enjoying the view and listening to the waves.
I had passed a couple of car parks on the road that had trail entrances so I figured I would just stop at one that looked promising. The one I picked happened to be a trail that led to the Huia Dam. The park that the dam is located in is very tropical. I felt like I was in the Amazon or something.
I made a rather inspired decision to take my whole bag with me on my hike, which had my umbrella in it. I didn’t look like rain when I set out, but after about 20 minutes the rain started to fall. Then it poured. Sneakers were a bad choice. They are still drying out. I think I will need to purchase some good hiking boots for future treks.
After today, my expectations for future excursions are very high. I cannot wait to see what will top it.