09 February 2010

Makara Beach getaway

This is another one of those unplanned expeditions. But it was such a beautiful day that it was inevitable that someone was bound to phone and arrange an impromptu adventure. And what a nice adventure it turned out to be!

Makara Beach is only half an hour away from Johnsonville here in Wellington, New Zealand. From a suburban environment with shops and houses, you suddenly get transported to the scenic countryside halfway through the road trip. The road is rather winding and narrow, making us feel thankful that we were not doing the driving. The scenery is just wonderful; a river snakes its way beside the road, and we saw ducks swimming, sheep with wool as white as snow, and cows in shining black coat lazily grazing about in meadows occasionally divided by low fences and cozy houses in a mountainous backdrop.

We arrived just in time for lunch!
See this narrow channel of water? This is where the river meets the sea.
Chibog time! Very important in Filipino social activities.

Welcome to Makara Beach! When we alighted from the van, the first thing that we noticed was the smell of the seaweeds and the absence of any form of food establishments. Roughing it out is the order of the day. The beach is also dominated by smooth stones rather than sand. It is rather similar in this respect to the Red Rocks area in a previous blog. It is no Boracay, but it has a charm all its own.
This is the Makara Walkway which winds around the slope behind me and up into the mountain. We were not able to make this tramp, but I hope we can go back to follow this trail. I saw the wind turbines beyond, and it will be exciting to see if the track crosses there.
It was a beautiful day with no wind and the water was not too cold.

This beach is definitely alive! Here we are having a look around at the little fishies and crabs and motion-sensitive plants.
Soaking up the afternoon sun...
Remember the channel where the river meets the sea? By low tide, the water has receded enough for us to cross and see this other side of the beach.

On this side, the terrain is more rough and jagged. There were some houses beyond this region but we no longer went there.
We were entranced by the bountiful paua shells scattered about the beach!
We learned a few days later that there was actually a crabbing area a bit further away from where we decided to stop and explore. Now that would be something different to do next time as well!

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