Friday, April 11, 2008

The East Cape, Part 1

I love the East Cape. It may very well be my favourite area of New Zealand. Don’t get me wrong, there are no bad areas of New Zealand! This one just stands out in my mind as having some of the most spectacular scenery, as well as a very relaxed feel, friendly people, and unpopulated, pristine, sandy beaches with clear, turquoise water. There aren’t too many tourists wandering around this part of the country, as it is far less accessible than other bits and thus not very practical for those with limited time, but it’s well worth the effort if you have a car (preferably a small one)! There’s really only one way to get around the Cape, which is via the winding and quite narrow Pacific Coast Highway which, as the name suggests, follows right along the coastline, affording breathtaking views of bay after sparkling bay. Around virtually every (hairpin) turn there’s something beautiful to be seen, whether natural (driftwood-strewn beaches; lush, green mountain forests) or man-made (old rusted-out vehicles with flowers growing out of their every crack and crevice). This is the area of the country where Whale Rider was filmed. If you’ve seen it, you’ll know what I mean about breathtaking. (If not, go put it in your Netflix queue. It’s fantastic.) The whole place just feels relaxed, laid-back. It’s not something I can explain, really. Maybe it’s the lack of tourists (or people in general)- there’s nothing more sizeable than a small town or village between Gisborne and Opotiki. Maybe it’s the way the sea and sun have slowly taken their toll on the houses and buildings, their paint stripped away, exposing bleached planks of something not far removed from driftwood… Whole villages that look as if they’ve been washed up by the waves basking in the sun, waiting for an evening tide that seems like it could just carry them back out to sea… Maybe it’s just the quiet- the way you can find a place where you’re all alone (without even looking for one) and the only sounds you’ll hear are the crashing of the waves and the calls of seabirds... Whatever it is that makes it so special, it’s an awesome place, and definitely one I wouldn’t mind revisiting someday. =)

1 comment:

Barbara said...

Hey! I think I found the other part of that sea weed that's in the picture with Gordon! We found it on the beach at Coronado...I took a picture of it!