Hahei, New Zealand
After our fun packed day walking over boiling hot water and pronouncing long names in Maori, we got in the car and headed north towards another recommended place, The Coromandel. Why? In main because of one special beach, more later. As we drove north, we were expecting to beat night but again our sat nav decided it was a fun game to add on minutes and hours to our journey. – he was making more things up than J.K Rowling did in the first Harry Potter book. That aside, we marched on and continued in the dark dancing around corners and mountains any racing driver would admire. Randomly we started seeing odd cones in the middle of the road, we thought there must have been some roadworks but then they just kept appearing. There was one, two, and at times lines and lines for no reason. One stretch and I kid you not, someone decided that the roads were not quite ‘bendy’ enough and distributed cones in some kind of twisted looking figure of 8 circuit so that you actually had to swerve in and out – I got a pretty good time though. After our Formula One circuit training we got our head down after a deserving fresh beverage (or two) and got up the next morning to dig. What happened on this day was planned yet still random. We had been told there was this a beach and on this beach or should I say under this beach was a natural underground pipe of hot springs; just dig yourself a hole and enjoy the warm water. Now, that in itself does explain what happens in the end, however, the manner in which it’s done is quite bizarre. We turned up to the beach within the two hours before tide recommended time with shovel in hand and still found there to be at least 50-80 people all prepping for the madness ahead. Idea being is that you feel for the hot spots on the sand as the tide goes out, so, we joined in. After around 30 minutes people started to mark their territories like some d day landing and the carnage began. In a completely civilised way everyone got their spot, including us and started to dig frantically. The problem is, we were smart but too smart. Our spot was great, we had found the ultimate spot for the hot springs so people starting catching on and digging around, problem is we had without a doubt found the only part of the beach where waters were not only near the surface but were reaching beyond temperatures even fires wouldn’t contain. So, the next 2 hours basically involved us digging shouting “too hot too cold”, whilst trying to build a sand wall to keep the tide that had kept destroying our mini spa. Ironically, although the outside temperatures weren’t exactly summer weather, we had built up a body temperature higher than the water temperature, so when we could actual enjoy our equivalent of a poorly built toddlers paddling pool, we actually preferred to be sat in the cold sea. As I say, it wasn’t about the end, it’s about the manner in which it’s done, Later that day we decided to become more sensible and have a walk to the delightfully peaceful cathedral cove before returning to our accommodation for a pizza even Pizza Hut would throw away.