I miss my morning walks in New Zealand

Outside, there was that predawn kind of clarity, where the momentum of living has not quite captured the day. The air was not filled with conversation or thought bubbles or laughter or sidelong glances. Everyone was sleeping, all of their ideas and hopes and hidden agendas entangled in the dream world, leaving this world clear and crisp and cold as a bottle of milk in the fridge.

Reif Larsen, from The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet.

Meanwhile, I'm playing this song on repeat and up loud as I work here this morning

And before I forget, I found the opening quote over on the marvellous Terri Windling's blog.

A glimpse from one of those early morning walks I took, back home in New Zealand ... Cooks Beach, on the Coromandel Peninsula ... sunrise.

No Rain on New Zealand's Infamously Wet West Coast Today ...

I have traveled the west coast of the South Island a few times and only once have I experienced sunshine.  Sunshine that changed everything ... I didn't recognise the chocolate-box-pretty coastline that was revealed by the sun.  It was shock and awe on a grand scale.

It happened again today.  We set off in the little red car, leaving from Wanaka about 10.  We drove west ... climbing hills, turning 35km per hour corners, sometimes constantly negotiating those tight corners, admired so many lakes and rivers.  Then finally we reached The Gates of the Haast and wandered on out to the West Coast ... where the actual coast was waiting.  Naked in the sun.  No clouds.  No torrential rain.  No sandflies. 

Just. Extreme. Beauty.  Today there was more than 250kms of it.

Below is a small taste.  We forgot to take notes on the 'where' of the photographs ... just to give you a small idea of how mindblown we were.  I think this might be Maori Bay, as per our road atlas but anyway ... a beautiful beach, someplace on the West Coast of New Zealand.

Beach Huts ...

The beach huts, they intrigue, horrify, and amuse me ...

For me, a child of New Zealand, the beach is about Nature, with a capital N.  It's not about about shelter and masses of 'stuff'.  It's not about windbreaks, umbrellas, or cafes. 

But there I was, down on the beach in Holland today, delighted by the light and the colour, horrified by the 'civilised' nature of the beach ... but. at the same time, enjoying a glass of red wine or two at those cafes located every few hundred metres along the sand.

There was live music too ...