The Coromandel Peninsula. . .and Pauanui, our home for 3 days. We thought we had learned a bit about pronunciation of this funny vowel-laden language here and were confidently calling this town “Pow-a-NEW-we ” but we were wrong. It’s “Pa-no-WAY.”
Pauanui is a beach resort town with 700 residents whose population swells to 15,000 in the summer. This weekend was the end of summer vacation as evidenced by the steady stream of traffic coming towards us as we approached the town. Families were returning home because school starts this week. But today as we walked the beach we found a few families stretching their vaca just a few more hours.
Kids played on boogie boards and a few brave ones were learning how to paddle board.
We had decided to walk around the entire perimeter of the peninsula, a distance of about 3-4 miles, and found only one area lifeguarded. Don liked the sign re:sharks, having just watched Jaws 1, 2, and 3 AGAIN.
A bit farther along we came across a stretch littered with a bounty of green-lipped mussels and clams.
And walking on, we noticed a bird which we had seen on the South Island with a long red beak, red eye, and black body. It was a variable oystercatcher. As we were commenting on it and putting two and two together that the birds were there for the buffet, we got squawked and chased by one of them. Then we noticed that there were two chicks and we had inadvertently wandered into their territory. I can truly say that I thought we might get attacked and pecked! We hurried on!
A bit further along we got a better look at three oystercatchers that looked like a bunch of guys just hangin’ out.
Our walk continued on past beachfront properties, now vacated, and eventually back through town and to our digs, Pauanui Pines Motor Lodge. It’s like our little house, complete with a front porch, living-dining area,kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom.
During the heat of the afternoon we continued watching part of the Hobbit trilogy, then went off to dinner at the Lime House on a lovely golf course.
So today we would say we were just on vaca, slathering on sunscreen, beach-walking, going to the grocery store in our bathing suits.
Another day in the NZ paradise.