I’ve lived in Auckland for about 6 months now, and last weekend I finally left ‘the city’. There have been work trips to Rotorua and Queenstown, and home trips to Wellington, but I haven’t strayed very far out of my self-made CBD-Ponsonby-Newmarket network. I’ve taken the bus out to the airport numerous times, crossed the bridge twice, and once travelled south to Papakura for Malaysian food (when the craving hits and colleagues have a car, you’ve got to!). When you live in the shadow of the Sky Tower, on the same street as your 9-5 job, and a carpark costs a quarter of the rent (so you don’t have a car because you’d rather enjoy life’s other offerings), you get pretty comfy with your surroundings.
However, my good friend Eva came through on her chariot and whisked me away for a walk in the weekend, and my grand plan to explore Queen Street went out the window (saving me lots of money but gaining me no new boots). As the motorway became a winding road slicing through a mountain range, I still hadn’t figured out that the walk ahead of me was going to be a two-and-a-half hour trek in the mud.
I do enjoy walking, and the earth beneath my feet was a welcomed change to concrete and carpet. Being outside, breathing in the fresh air and having the wind knot my hair are all things I love, but the one thing about nature that I can’t love, was the one thing this walk was really flowing in: mud. The earth was a little bit too soft, really. About three-quarters into the journey, I realised that I had to embrace it to make it out alive, so instead of teetering on the sides of the track, I started walking through the middle of it, like everyone else had before me (obviously!). My predominantly white sneakers were white no more (and nor was my bathtub, from the post-walk sneaker clean)! I made a mental note to look out for some hiking shoes- I now know why they are mostly brown! Note that the #fromwhereIstand #shoes photo below was taken about halfway through the journey.
In terms of adventuring, it was an easy 40 minutes drive out of the city to Piha, and into the (somewhat) wilderness. Putting the muddy track behind me, the greenery, moody grey skies and blue tides made for one serene, refreshing afternoon stroll. It was the first time I’d seen the famous black sand beach, and it had been a long time since I’d been on the coast. Ending with a waterfall, the whole experience was just a bit too pretty, but I’ve heard that about this country we live in. I’ll have to leave the city more often.
EDIT: So I found out where I actually went- up until now it was vaguely ‘Piha’! We walked the ‘Comans – Ahu Ahu’ loop track, and saw the Karekare Falls.
What do you like to get up to in the weekends? Do you get caught up in the city or are you a little more proactive than I am?