Sunday, January 3, 2010

Sunday Morning

Yesterday was Coromandel Day. Our plan initially was to circumnavigate the peninsula anti-clockwise, but a car accident blocked route 25 heading eastward. We drove north instead and reversed our itinerary. The first stop was at New Chums Beach, which had been billed as one of the top 10 beaches in the world.

Arriving at Whangapoua, we found an estuary blocking our progress up the beach. We were told to seek the Rubber Ferry, who turned out to be a young woman paddling a dinghy back and forth across the stream. She had arrived earlier that morning to help her niece and nephew across, and had had a steady stream of passengers since. Nada gave her some money for her kind assistance.

Past the sexy Aussies and up the beach a ways, we clambered over a few hundred meters of rocks and took a path through the forest to the secluded New Chums Beach, a crescent of white sand maybe a mile long. The water was cold and blue, and filled with small globules of clear jelly which we decided were fish eggs.

Ljuba and I walked to the end of the beach, where I got scraped up a bit by a falling rock when I tried to climb. We swam back around the point and past the rocks to the beach. The consensus was that New Chums Beach was lovely, but a questionable contender when it came to world-class beaches.

We ate a quick lunch in Whitianga at Snapper Jack’s takeaway. Back on the road, we drove to Hot Water Beach. Natural hot springs seep up under the sand here, and the beach was quite crowded with scantily-clad prospectors mining for hot water.

Down the road a bit was the path to Cathedral Cove. It was a 40-minute vista-filled walk along the coast, ending in a series of majestic rock formations on a sandy shore. Apparently a scene from one of the Narnia movies was filmed here.

We ate dinner in Tairua at a place called Manaia. The town’s three restaurants were slammed by holiday crowds, so it was a bit of a wait before we could order. I had an impromptu veggie pasta, Ljuba had beer-battered fish, and Buda and Nada had pan-fried catch of the day.

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