Blackhead Beach to Pourere Beach, Saturday 25 August 2017.
Photo: Blackead and Pourere Beach, HB Regional Council.
Six of us headed south for a tramp of a different kind: beach versus bush for a change, on what promised to be a warm sunny winter’s day.
First stop was the Paper Mulberry cafe at Te Aute for coffee, to allow for the 9am tide and the risk of wet feet of course! Second stop was Pourere Beach. We decided to reverse the order since it was closer than Blackhead.
First encounter: a woman over the road kindly offered us the use of her toilet (did we look desperate and how could we refuse?). We set out shortly after 9am with blue sky and sunshine and barely a breath of wind.
Second and third encounters: we disturbed a young seal (and a few minutes later a second one) sunning themselves on the rocks above the high tide mark. They made a hurried exit back into the sea. Fourth encounter: A guy fishing from his beach chair, with a couple of mates out surfing.
A stream provided a team-building exercise for people determined to keep their feet dry: two forded it, four attempted to skirt it, two ended up retreating and crossing further back while the other two die-hards decided it couldn’t be that deep – until it got to the tops of their thighs and they teetered on tippy toes to the other side.Morning tea was a log for five at Aramoana Beach with its flash beach houses (Shoal Bay) as the backdrop and noone in sight. By then we were stripped down to t-shirts. We arrived at Blackhead Beach just after 11 and explored a couple of corners further round at the far end of the beach before deciding it was too rocky to go much further. And as it was too early for lunch, we headed back to Aramoana Beach and reclaimed our log for a leisurely lunch.
The walk back was busier, with a broad expanse of sand and a rocky platform exposed by the outgoing tide; as we got closer to Pourere, the beach traffic increased along with a few walkers. We were pleased to have had the beach pretty much to ourselves earlier in the day.
We arrived back at the cars before 2 and after one person went seeking facilities, she returned with an invite for a cup of tea from our friendly local across the road. How could we refuse? A short time later, we were ensconced at a picnic table in the backyard drinking cups of tea and snacking on home-made goodies while being regaled with tales of the slip that took out the previous house six years ago and the current house which arrived ready-made, as well as touring the beach house next door for rent, not to mention the encounter of the grandchildren with a giant octopus which got recorded in a poem.
What a lovely way to end the day … no ordinary tramp this one!
Trampers: Reporter Jude Patton.