One of the great features of the coastline near Whitianga is Cathedral Cove. You may recognize it from the Chronicles of Naria movie Prince Caspian. We hiked about 45 minutes from the hilltops above the coast down to the cove. The rock arch is enormous and the water is deep blue and green. Cohen seemed mostly interested in the seagulls that spotted him as an easy target for stealing some snacks.
We drove up the coast a ways to the town of Coromandel where we had some lunch before driving on to Waikawau Bay. We camped there for one night. The boys got their own tent and were excited to sleep in their own sleeping bags. After setting up camp we went down to the beach, which was just a couple minutes walk from our campsite. The entire bay was empty except for us. Unfortunately it was incredibly windy and the boys didn’t tolerate the mild sand blasting for long. So we bailed on that and explored a more protected area of the bay once their mouths had been cleared of sand and their attitudes re-adjusted.
The boys did well overnight and we all actually slept pretty well. We packed up the next day in light rain (always a pain to break camp in the rain). As we drove away I felt something a little weird on the back left wheel, but when I got out to look it seemed fine, so we continued on down gravel roads for about twenty minutes. As soon as we hit pavement it was clear that there was definitely a flat tire. We pulled over, unloaded all our gear to get to the spare, and got it changed. As luck would have it, the car was pulled over with the back facing into the stiff wind, and as Liz opened her door it was nearly ripped off the hinges. We got it closed, but it wouldn’t really open without making a horrendous noise and whistled a little at highway speeds. Fortunately Liz is nimble, as she’s had to crawl over the driver’s seat to get into the passenger side since then. According to the estimate I got today, a cool thousand dollars should solve that problem.
Eventually we did make it home. The flat is repaired, the tents are drying in the garage, and we’re planning our next adventure.
One other bonus – the Didiers (didiersdownunder.com) came to visit for the weekend. Always awesome to get together; we can’t wait to be living in the same city.