I’m doing well… this is actually Day 8 (or 9?) of continual blogging. And I’ve made one amendment – I have actually added a ‘Travel’ tab/category/whatever and I think this page/post comes under it – yay!
Anyway, back to Te Maika… I just love escaping from reality…. the world… on the rather rugged but beautiful beach so I also love writing about our secret wee place. I didn’t get to share many of the ‘secrets’ yesterday so read on…
As I said, my brothers and I have been visiting our isolated corner of the world since we were born. For the first 11 or so years of my life my father rented various baches (small holiday homes for those of you who are not North Island NZers) along the main waterfront. That bay is low-lying so the tides flow in and out over quite a distance. When the tide was in we would swim and play in the high water while there was sand underfoot. When the tide ebbed we walked (well, there was no other way to go!) over to the rocks or to the surf beach and jumped about in the waves or found rocks pools to swim in. I still remember some of the large pools between the rocks and daring each other to swim to the end – never very risky but if feet had to reach down to the sandy bottom there was always a possibility of being nipped by a crab. And, of course, parents kept a watchful eye on us and usually joined us in the ever-changing pools!
Shellfish were abundant in the bay and low tide was the time to take buckets or bowls and dig for pippies below the sea grass on the exposed floor. My mouth waters at the memory of pippies wrapped in a blanket of bread with loads of butter and salt! Mussels also grew in abundance on the rocks on the coast and these are still a favourite of mine – store-bought mussels just don’t compare … they don’t have the flavour that comes from filtering the detriment of the sea!
Back in my days of childhood we traveled to Te Maika by launch. Over the years the Olivene and the Ionoto carried us across the harbour to Te Maika and back again to Kawhia. The launches were owned by the father of the one family who lived at Te Maika – Tom Rewi. Tom was quite unreliable as far as departure times but we were fortunate to have my grandparents living at Kawhia so didn’t have to wait on
the wharf for Tom to arrive in “Maori time”. We could sit at my Nana and Papa’s house on the hill and watch for the launch to arrive before scuttling down and loading our food and luggage on board.
And that’s it for today… I’ll continue with my reminiscing at Te Maika tomorrow…