Sunday, September 19, 2010

Corogate Café, Miranda Shorebird Center, landslides, big grey pebbles

Kia Ora! 
Monday afternoon here, almost time for me to walk over and get the kids from school, but I think I have time for a quick post. I still have a few from last weekend's wanderings, which included a drive down to Miranda, about an hour south of here, to visit the Miranda Shorebird Center, known for its unique shoreline that provides a mud feast of goodies for migrating birds. We read about this and it sounded really interesting, so we figured a walk on a beach anywhere would be a good thing; let's go! 


After a wrong turn we ended up at this strange little outpost surrounded by nothing. There, at the Corogate Café, we had fish and chips and large sausages served by a friendly British woman on china plates on a picnic table. I really need to start taking photos of these people that we meet. I don't know what comes over me, but I always talk to someone forever and then leave and think, oh for God's sake, why didn't I take a photo of her??? I am going to work on this. 

Found our way back through the town of Miranda, all of 5 buildings, some sheep, and a tractor, and finally found this bird place. By this time we had realized that Trey wasn't fully recovered from the flu sort of bug that he'd had the previous week, but it was nice out and the walk was flat and looked fairly short, and so off we went. Fresh air's always good for you, right? 

We just kept walking and walking, through mud, past cows, over electric fences, under electric fences (one looked like a rope and Dennis ended up shocked and flat on the ground), around more mud and through water. The whole way, we could tell the beach was right there, but we couldn't see it. We just knew that eventually we'd be rewarded with an entry point to the hidden magical beach and swarms and schools of every exotic bird in the world! It would be magnificent! We could just feel it...

After half an hour, we came upon this (you may need to squint). It was locked. We were supposed to be able to sit in it and hide so that the unsuspecting birds would land and hang out and eat and smoke and drink while we spied on them. The whole way there and back we saw 3 birds, and one was dead. Poor Trey nearly joined him as he trudged along, ever slower, behind us. It wasn't the best outing. 

It was quite beautiful there though, not counting the dead bird. And I'm sure if that little tiny shack had been unlocked it would've been tons of fun for all four of us to sit in there silently for hours and hours. Whose idea was this??

AND!!! We did get to see some number 8 fencing wire. No. 8 wire is a term that's used to refer to the Kiwi ingenuity that abounds here. It's a small isolated country and sometimes they just have to make do. Apparently they can fix or make nearly anything with a bit of No. 8 wire. Here it is!

And the reward for all that fruitless walking did come, by the way. We took a back road home for a change of scenery. We're getting a bit tired of Routes 1 and 2. Not only was it much more interesting what with all the landslides and all, but we also happened upon the coolest beach made up of big round grey rocks. And of course a few rainbows, blah blah blah, you're probably getting sick of those... 

A hui ho, until we meet again...

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