Friday, January 13, 2006
This was my first beach..... where Grandad taught me to catch waves and to body surf. Where I burnt my feet on the hot, black sand. And it was where I could go to get away from things that I didn't understand.
My grandparents had a bach (Pronounced batch - a kiwi beach house) at Port Waikato... where the Waikato river meets the sea at Sunset beach. Looking back, I was incredibly blessed. The bach was there to be used, and I was trusted to go up there with my friends for weekends. It was awesome. From when I was 16, there were 4 of us that would often head up there for a weekend of cards, fish and swimming. I think back to me being 16, and how it sounds so young, but I guess the friends that I was out there with were all older than me, and perhaps thats why I was allowed to go? (In hindsight I do believe that I was always the more mature regardless!! hehehe)
We had a blast. Nig and I took the Canadian out one weekend, and were going to row from up the river. Alas.... should have checked the tide before we had this brilliant scheme. It was coming in at the time, and the current was just too strong, and Nig being the army guy and myself - both pretty strong, ended up going across the river, and towing the canoe up the river to the point where we then rowed to the other side. It was hillarious. Such memories. :)
I had my 19 birthday there, with a huge group of friends, and it was the following weekend that the bach officially changed hands. I stood on sunset beach with tears streaming down my face at the loss. My grandparents had decided to sell... and I guess it was wise. They both died within the next year.
I'd not been back since that day until a couple of weeks ago. Alot of the old beach towns have become huge developed places now, with the old bach's been pulled down and huge houses put in their place. I couldn't stand the idea that the same thing had happened to the Port. It hasn't. It's pretty much the same little place, with the one dairy, two fish n'chip stores and wharf to fish from. It's really, quite perfect. While everyone around me is buzzing about buying a house - the idea of having somewhere else, where I can escape to grabs me more. I want a little piece of land, yeah... but I want it to be a place where people can run to, to breath and soak up life. Maybe I'll have both one day.... but a bach would be more my style now.
I was really the only grandchild to get to have those moments... my other cousins are all much younger than me, and I guess I've realised how much fun we would have had, or how much chaos it would have been later on - when we'd all ended up there for a weekend. hehehe.... but I would so love to give my kids - should I have any somewhere like that. :)