There are only two things in New Zealand that will hurt or possibly kill you: the katipo spider and the white-tailed spider. She told me this the first day as she was cutting New Zealand Flax stalks and I was hauling them away. White-tailed spiders like to live down near the base of the flax trees. The white-tailed is not aggressive, and the bite won’t necessarily kill you. You will be put on antibiotics right away and the resulting infection may be nasty.
After working a while in the hot sun, she remembered something. “Oh yeah there is something else that can kill you in New Zealand….Americans driving on the wrong side of the road!”
I saw my first white-tailed today as I was weeding along the road at the edge of her property. My main task for the day was getting out as much Wandering Jew as possible. If Woody Allen was around, he would most certainly accuse me of anti-semitism. I was also pulling out a few different variety of weeds along the way. After two hours of intense work, Bobbie let me off early. Back to the beach to watch the waves!
It was about 6:45pm as I got down to the beach. A stunning 2 minute walk away. So perfect. The sun sets straight over the waves, so its very hard to look straight out at the surfers. Luckily there are rocks to either side of the beach that you can crawl out on and watch looking in a northerly or southerly direction. Last night the waves were barrelling and the setting sun lit them up from behind into this beautiful light aquamarine color. You can see any objects in the ocean (like these large brown seaweed-like stalks) cascading up and over the falls. The waves were mostly closing out, which means all breaking over at once instead of along a line from once side to the other. Closing out is not good because you can’t surf it.
Tonight there were probably around 8 people outside catching the good waves and a handful of people inside trying to learn to stand up in the crumbing whitewater. People were catching some good rides. I would’ve gone out if I wasn’t still so tired. I watched from the rocks to the south of the beach, near “Camel Rock” as two girls paddled out on shortboards. Jealous jealous.
Across the waves is Lion Rock. An amazing, towering massive rock formation. It was called Te Piha by the Maori and was at one time a Pa, or fortified palace. It is considered a sacred site to the Maori. I saw the lion in it all at once yesterday when the sun hit it perfectly. It faces out to the ocean and even has haunches in the back.
Here is an old image I found online, since I can’t upload my own right now:
I hope tomorrow morning I have more energy and the arms aren’t too sore. The past two days have been all about paddling practice. I would like to catch a wave and ride it tomorrow.
Oh! I forgot. This morning as I walked out onto the beach around 9am, there was a rainbow over Camel Rock. Camel rock is more obvious, as it has two big humps.