Wednesday, May 7, 2014
Sometimes meeting new backpackers is as easy as “Hi! Do you want to be my friend?” in a few more mature choice words which typically include looking for a hitch in any given direction. At breakfast, Markus and I invited Kathi and Franz for a cruise around the Coromandel peninsula just to see where we would wind up. With little direction in mind, we arrived at the untouched New Chum Beach where adventure commenced. We knew it was a half hour walk from the car park, so we grabbed our picnic fixings and I carried on in my jean skirt and flip flops ever so unsuspectingly.
We had to cross a small stream at the first beach, and when we reached nothing but rocks on the other side, we thought we had missed a tidal crossing since the water was so high. There was a fenced piece of farm land with a “No Trespassing” sign. Franz had the bright idea of cutting across the land because there was “no sign saying we couldn’t.” I guess being the only native English speaker in the group, nobody believed me that no trespassing means you cannot enter. So we did it anyway. “I’ve gone 6 months in New Zealand without getting arrested, and I would not like to start now!” “It’s not like you’re in the States. Nobody is going to shoot us here.” Agreed. Here, if the cops couldn’t give us directions, they would probably give us a ride wherever we were looking to go.
You know how lush green farm hills in New Zealand always look so pristine and flawless? Well, this one was far from it. This was trench central with cow mines the size of my face in the most rugged of terrain. At one point, there was even a huge split in the land from what looked to be earthquake damage. I fell into plenty of concealed holes buried with splintery prickly things that hurt, and I didn’t realize until after the fact that I lost a toenail in all this nonsense.
I followed the other three up a hill overlooking another colorful scene very typical of NZ. There were more fences blockading us from the steep cliffs below. The guys walked in either direction to look for an opening, but when they came to the conclusion that we were trapped, Franz called the manager back at our backpackers from the night before to ask for directions. Looks like if we had read the sign in the car park, we would have known to follow the rocks we first came across to eventually find a foot path to this special beach. It was a complicated process for us to finally find New Chum Beach, but I guess getting there is half the adventure. If you are the land owner of the farm that we illegally encroached on, it wasn’t my idea, and I am extremely sorry. But thanks for the view!
We wrapped up our day with a couple beers and a fantastic sunset outside Coromandel Town. The Italian redeemed himself with a good idea. Cheers, Franz!