Going off the beaten track is always fun! And it's even more of an adventure when there is a spectacular sighting at the end of it.
That's what happen yesterday on our way back from a weekend in Whangamata, on the Coromandel Peninsula. (Sister) Zoze and I were invited to a "bach" (beach house in NZ slang) by her friends and we had had a very enjoyable time, hiking from an amazing lookout down to the Whangamata harbor, spent time at the beach and generally had a fun time.
On our way back, she and I decided to stop in Whiritoa, where we heard there was a blow hole! The last time I saw a blow hole was w-a-y back in Ensenada! My trusty Waze directed us to where we thought it was and we set off across the sand towards the headlands.
With no signs to direct us, we saw some people disappear into the bush that shrouded the bluff and a young woman and child walking a different way through the ankle-deep lagoon. We looked for the promised pathway and saw nothing; inspected the way the young woman went and decided, no way! Back we went and encountered someone else emerging from the bush and after closer inspection, saw the rough steps hewn in the rock and some rickety stairs heading up.
Ok then! Off we went, climbing and clambering up to the top through the natural bush. First lookout; just a clearing at the top of the cliff which immediately made my knees go weak. But what a view! Of course, Zoze, who used to climb whatever tree she could find and apparently has no fear of heights went right to the edge!
We continued on through the bush, with more scrambling up and over roots and rocks and then we started to hear - and feel - the whooomp of the blow hole, and a voice exclaiming loudly as it blew.
The pathway brought us to the top of the cavern and the young woman and child were standing below, watching as the waves rushed in and the water whooshed out through the narrow opening. Wanting to be down where the action was, we slithered down on our butts as it was so steep.
What a treat! The surrounding walls of the cavern, for wont of a better word, are streaked in hues of browns, gold and black, with the churning water, a khaki green frothing with white foam.
We had managed, through no skill of our own, to arrive at the perfect time. Almost low tide, a steady breeze and big seas. The waves from the Pacific roar in through the main opening and then whoosh through the blow hole in a plume of spray. On the lagoon side, the water is funneled under the arch we were standing on. It roars in, in the opposite direction from the blow hole, causing a roiling cauldron in the middle.
I could have stayed there all day watching it, completely mesmerized!
But leave we did, and met people coming in who told us they had come the day before, but it was low tide and the man actually was in the pool and walked through the arch out to the beach! Hard to imagine after what we saw.
That little side trip ended up being the highlight of the weekend - and earned us an ice cream on the way home!