Monday, 18 March 2013

Hitching a ride to Piha, Sunnyvale, Auckland 12th March 2013

Hitch Hiking to the beach...

Its fair to say that getting around here is quite difficult for the average backpacking tourist on foot. public transport finishes in the suburbs, no rural services except by taxi. Car hire for 1 person isn't cheap when adding in insurance, so options are rather limited for the budget traveller. Hitch hiking is, apparently the way to get around this part of the world. particularly if heading towards the beach, so, lets give it a go! If the Fat Cats can do it, so can I.

Haruki and I are embarking upon this mission in an effort to reach the beach at Piha, a famous beach for two reasons. Firstly, its a TV beach and secondly its dangerous. TV in the sense that's its the place used for a reality TV show all about saving surfers getting too ambitious, or tourists with little regard for the rules. Dangerous because deaths are common as the waves there are seriously big!

A stop at the local grocery store for supplies before heading to the beach road and hopefully a ride to the beach. Haruki has hitched before and ensures me its easy. Last time he only had to wait 30 seconds!
10 minutes, 20 minutes, 30 minutes, 40 minutes and we contemplate giving up. A plan is needed - yes, maybe a singleton might attract success so I move on down the road, relying on Haruki to make the pitch and hopefully I will get picked up too. It works, 50 minutes and we're on our way, up into the forested hills and along narrow roads - a day at the beach after all!

The driver stops so we can get a scenic photo from the cliff top, and what a scene it is. A wide sandy beach, rocks, cliffs and the sea is actually blue. A breathtaking vista of natural beauty for a few moments, then its down into Piha village, getting out at the village store. Haruki grabs a cold drink, I grab a nice bean coffee before we take on the rigors of Kiwi beach life. Oh, the coffee was pretty nice if a little on the pricy side. I had to explain what an Americano was.

Next...A woeful tale with a happy ending

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