Photo Roll, New Zealand
After 10 days or so, only certain twisting movements still hurt my knee. If I maintained mostly lateral movement, I could go without pain…so I put off seeing a doctor, and instead did my own rehabilitation which included icing and elevating, hot baths, arnica massages, and bike riding…and a rake treatment by the DJ at the wedding with an amethyst crystal!? It helped that the swell died for a week, so I was able to rest it a bit. There were a few minor re-injuries, one surfing, the other involved some off-trail blackberry picking…
New Zealand impressed me at every turn. Although I hardly scratched the surface, the landscapes I did see thoroughly awed me. The quantity of open space, the general attitude of respect for the environment, and pursuit of healthy lifestyles cast a positive feeling all around. Everything seemed really straightforward and courteous, like the huge sign when you’re leaving the airport that says “Way Out –>”, or the clearly marked public beach accessways that seem to be everywhere, and parking spots reserved for mothers with children.
NZ has the happiest cows in the world, picturesque open meadows and rolling hills, and long open beaches with no one around. Even a spot where hot springs well up into the sand so you can do have a soak after surfing the sandbar of your choice on a 3 mile beach. It’s camper van road tripping paradise, and I spotted more than a few harbors well suited for Swell!
Two things baffled me—NZ drivers: reckless speed junkies!?!?…out of the car, the people seemed so friendly, easygoing, and mellow, but get them behind the wheel and they turn all Jekyll and Hyde on you. They drive like it’s the Indy500!? Pedestrians have no right of way, grandmas are passing on blind curves, and logging trucks are tail-gating you even at relatively high speeds on two-lane roads like the Jalama road—tight and windy, with no where to pull over…can someone explain this? And the other…the Maoris? Where? I didn’t meet a single one? Yet another land with shameful history…
My friends, Seth and Helen Bloom, picked the right year and the right spot to get married, as the La Nina was keeping the cyclones and weather very west in the Pacific making for a killing of waves to be had along the NE coast. And sand points! Sand, oh how I miss sand…both on the beach and under the waves…NZ has some choice granules—not too fine, not to fat, squeaking underfoot and glittering like a million diamonds with only my friends and the seabirds around to squawk about it. Forests falling all the way to the sea, and hidden nooks of secluded beaches if you’re willing to explore a bit. A yoga retreat in the woods, a 300 yard walk from the beach…might be a good place to go and get some next level training! There’s a harbor only a few miles down the road…
BIG thanks to Katie and Geoff, Seth and Helen, and all who made my NZ time so unforgettable. Double high kicks!!
Mary HarrisonMarch 22, 2011
So cute to see you and Katie together!! Brett and I have to get to New Zealand.
Hope you’re well!