Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Ruapuke and the Bridal Veil Falls (26.3.2014)

After yesterday's exciting descend into the depths of the Waitamo Caves, we took it slow again. It seems to be a good pattern. The beaches of the West coast past Raglan took our fancy.

Our first little walk was the so-called Waikato Bush Walk. It was short and sweet and... bushy ;) We had the chance to see a lot of different birds there. However, most of them were too fast to be caught on camera, sadly :(

Raglan is apparently the Surfer's Paradise of New Zealand. Because of this, we also went to Waikato Beach to see the surfers instead of going straight to Ruapuke beach with its black sand. It is supposed to be a fairly unknown place (it's not in the Lonely Planet Guide, for example). But back to the surfers.

At first, surfing seemed like a really pointless exercise to us. We saw 5 - 10 individuals consistently battling into the waves with that board, then reaching a point a little out. The waves came and they try to stand up on their board and... they fall down unceremoniously on their arse 2 seconds after or they manage to stand up and by the time they manage, they are already at the point where the wave finished. We got quickly bored of watching people fall over and left.

It got only apparent when we left and saw some 5 or 6 people at a different part of the beach when we connected the dots. There was a surf school next to our first spot, so those guys must have been beginners. The guys we saw there really did the cool stuff. Almost like on television. Beautiful to watch, how they rode the waves. I gotta say though, I don't think that sport is for me.

Once we tore our eyes away from that view we carried on along the coastal street... if street is really the word we are looking for ;) Cows were sitting on the gravel footpath that we went along, but the view was fantastic. Once we reached Ruapuke, we were not quite sure how our car would look from the outside, the street was that bad, but it was well worth it. The sand which is derived from basalt really is black. The beach stretched for kilometers and apart from us, there was only a horse rider (and his horse) that passed us once or twice. The sun and the strong winds made the sand reflect the sun from random grains, it was quite a spectacle. I tried to take photos of it, but a video would only show it well (see below).

The sea itself was very rowdy today as well and we could see the waves crash into the sides of cliffs a little further up. It was quite the view we had. We stayed for some time walking up and down, not really believing the view. First time, we saw black sand...

However, the best was still to come. We carried on to see the Bridal Veil Falls a little further inland. Now, I mentioned already that Isi and I have become quite the fans of waterfalls, but this one really took the cake. It was almost a cliché. The fall was fed by a fairly small stream that would roll over a cliff some 50 meters high. Because of the constant wind most of the water would never touch the bottom and be carried away as a spray. This created a perfect rainbow and gave the air the illusion that you are really looking through a bridal veil.

There was one aspect that I liked the most about it though. Along the path to go, there were little plaques with information. The one on the bottom talked about an aspect of the ancient Maori belief.

"All water is seen to have originated from the separation of Ranginui the sky, and Papatuanuku the earth. Rain and mist personify their mutual grief of parting."

Folklore and the sagas of polytheistic belief systems always struck a chord with me and this one I found very touching, especially in a place like this.

We returned home from there to get an early night as tomorrow looks to be quite exciting. I won't mention what it is just yet as it is very weather dependent and tomorrow may be borderline for that. Not sure yet if it will happen. We'll see... :)

The one bird, we were able to take a picture of in the Waikato Bush Walk

We liked that spot

Panorama from a spot along the road

A Panorama of Ruapuke Beach

Check out the black sand

I tried to catch how the sun reflects from random grains in the sand

There were two streams leading to the sea. They carved themselves into the sand in quite an interesting fashion

The patterns the stream made were very interesting

The waves crashing into the cliffs

My new desktop background ;)

Bridal Veil Falls

See how the wind distorts the fall

 Most of the water barely touches the ground

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