….you might remember me, I wrote to you a few years ago when I slipped down your central city parking building stairway and broke my ankle. I was bedridden for 6 weeks over Christmas & New Year. You very kindly (after a serious prodding by my devoted husband) enquired after my health & sent me a bouquet of flowers which was personally delivered by one of your managers (I was expecting nothing less than the key to the city). And then you renewed the non-slip edges on every step in that stairwell and attaching warning signs to the wall on all the landings advising to be cautious if the stairs were wet.
Well I write to you again, to complain about the very fine gravel that is spread over the Mount Base Track. I know it’s been there for awhile and in some places it’s gone altogether and I know its there because if it wasn’t and its wet everybody would be slipping and sliding along on the clay base. Instead it’s just me slipping and sliding. I know I’m a klutz and I’m sure it’s just a coincidence that I write this letter not only in the same month but in the same week that I wrote my last one. Thankfully I didn’t break an ankle this time but boy I came close; I felt it twinge & stretch. Not only do I have a large gravel rash on my leg but there’s one on my palm too and my phone needs a new protective cover as well. Serendipity I’d say, had I had my camera....it doesn't bear thinking about.
The day started out well; out the door at 5:45am just in time to catch a fiery sunrise…..
….past Pilot Bay as the sun made a short appearance before disappearing behind the clouds….
Sunday morning & the track to myself, the only other sign of life, boats heading out the entrance taking fishers to their favourite spots out on the briny. It’s good to be alive!
Cool and damp and going well. I think I might do two circuits this morning.
A moment of reflection at this beautiful little shell beach where many generations of children have played and families have picnicked over the years and sadly where a little boy, Jack aged 5, was swept away by a rogue wave recently. His body has yet to be found. The huge old pohutukawa tree that overhangs the track near the beach has become a shrine & memorial to Jack, the low hanging branches are covered in hanging shell chimes and toys, photos & messages are tucked into an area by the trunk. So sad.
Mt Maunganui is a pretty special place, where else in New Zealand can you climb an extinct volcano cone or walk around its base, see sheep grazing beside the surf just a few short steps from one of the most beautiful sand beaches in the country and have a thriving and busy resort town that is always in holiday mode on your doorstep.
It was about here that I was heading for a fall. After taking a photo of the main beach in the early morning calm I stepped away..... and well, the rest, as they say, is history.