Pourerere Beach is a magnificent stretch of sand. I’m not quite sure how long it is, but it took me about twenty minutes to walk, briskly, from the middle to one end, and twenty minutes again from the middle to the other end, so I guess it’s between 4 and 5km long. There are only a few baches there, about 15 or so in the middle of the beach, and another 20 or so at the southern end. There are very basic camping facilities, and most of the year, camping is free, but there is a small charge, and a time limit of one week, during the high season. When we arrived, there were only about 10 campsites set up. So there were just a few people sharing this beautiful beach.
Pourerere is east facing, but tilted towards the south, so it was a little cool for swimming. But it was great for walking and constructing water engineering works, and poking about rock pools. Despite the cold, the girls and their dad still managed several swims, while I lurked cautiously at the edge. I believe that my knees may have gotten wet at some stage, but I may be exaggerating.
We visited Te Angi Angi marine reserve a few kilometres down the coast, where we found jewel-like rock pools, and sea birds, and this seal.
We left a wide berth as we walked around the seal, wanting to leave it in peace, but the drivers of several four wheel drive vehicles had no such restraint, parking right beside the poor beast. It seemed most unhappy. I was bemused by the behaviour of the drivers: this was a marine reserve, where the whole point is to create a space where the wildlife is free from interference from humans.
The bach (crib/shack/beach house) we stayed in was nicely appointed, and had excellent views. The main bedroom faced the sea, so each morning we sat up in bed, drinking coffee and watching the waves. It was lacking in trashy novels, ‘though there were several sporting biographies there. Clearly, the owners had different interests to us. We completed a complicated jigsaw puzzle – one of those wretched ones where the picture in the puzzle is a future stage of the picture on the box. The girls complained bitterly about how hard it was, and suggested that there must be missing pieces. From our superior age and experience, we explained that everyone thinks that when they’re doing a jigsaw puzzle, and that we should just persevere with it. Eventually it was done, except for the missing pieces.
It was a very pleasant break, a small holiday from our current transitoriness. We have grown weary of being on the move, living out of suitcases and in other people’s spaces. It is nearly over, and so far, it has gone remarkably smoothly. We got word today that our household lot has cleared Customs, it should be through the MAF (Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries) inspection by the end of the week, and it will be delivered to our rental house on the day that we take possession.
There have been some small ironies in our move. The girls have pointed out that every place we have stayed in has had more TVs than our home. They are exaggerating slightly – the bach had no TV at all. However, they are not looking forward to going back to the rigours of having only one TV. And because I brought our coffee plunger with us, knowing that baches and motels rarely stretch to such items, there has been a coffee plunger at every single place we have stayed at. Is there an antonym for “vindicated”?