I have FOUR DAYS OFF! Yesterday we followed my Day Off tradition of going to a beach. Any beach will do! This time we drove Northish up past Kumeu to Murawai beach. On the way there we went past a place called Food Station and immediately did a U-Turn at 100km/h on the highway to go to there. It was small and owned by someone who obviously had a love for 1950’s era chrome diners. We had fish tacos! They were incroyable. Onwards!
It was a gorgeous sunny day out but the beach was foggy and grey. Dark dunes undulated for miles and miles in front of us, shrouded in misty ocean spray and pine trees. The rocks were worn down smooth and looked like giant leathery seals laying in piles all over. It is a very different beach to other west coast beaches we’ve been to. It was more dark, gloomy, dangerous.. prehistoric even.
We followed steps up a hill, marked as part of the Hillary Trail. As we got higher up the side of the hill, CB remarked “I smell animals.” Immediately I burst like a balloon with happiness imagining piles of fat happy seals at the top of the hill having a pizza party, just waiting for me to show up before they all have cuddle naps with me. We got to the top of the hill and saw them..
Birds. Literally a shit ton, of birds. Gannets, most of them with a giant fluffy gannet baby at their feet. Screeching and wiggling all over. The air smelled of wet dog and hot bird shit. You can see on the side of the cliff, where the rivers of uric acid wash over the side and permanently bleached the rocks. Through the great masses of white bodies, we could see a pair of dark wings, which I recognized as a hawk, just quietly having a baby buffet without even being noticed.
Sorry about the blurry, low quality cell phone pics. They don’t really illustrate the number and scale of these birds. They covered every surface, thousands of them, equally spaced on their little mounds of poo. I could almost hear David Attenborough in my head reciting cool facts almost, if I knew any about gannets or my schizophrenia was tuned to BBC.
This one was my favourite, it choose to have a nap 10 miles above the other ones, where there was some bloody peace and quiet. He ain’t sleeping on no shit stained rock, no way, only soft grass for that gannets butt.