Oh, I Do Like to be Beside the Seaside...

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January 12th 2008
Published: January 14th 2008
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Shakepeare ParkShakepeare ParkShakepeare Park

Look mum, I'm at the seaside!
I know we're not strictly on holiday over here this time around but you can't help but feel like it when the sun is shining, it's lovely and warm outside and your surrogate mum phones you up to ask if you fancy going to the beach for the day. God bless Liz, she knows how to look after us!

After a busy week trying to get all the bits and pieces together that we need for the apartment like saucepans, food and furniture (first 2 are now sorted; still don't have anything much to sit on!) and beginning the weary task of job hunting, a trip to the coast was just what we needed. Liz and Allard arrived to pick us up at 10.30 bearing the mighty handy loaned gifts of a giant TV and a toaster! What better way to start off the day?

We drove across the Harbour Bridge and headed towards Whangaparoa, an isthmus of land leading to a fabulous reserve called Shakespeare Park about 40 minutes away. The scenery along the way was lovely with views of hundreds of little beachy coves and expensive looking housing developments aplenty. It seems the North Shore is currently
Distant SkylineDistant SkylineDistant Skyline

If you look closely over Glynn's shoulder, you can see the Auckland city skyline.
THE place to be, darling!

When we arrived at the park, we picked out a shady spot under the trees and went to dip our toes in the water. It was heavenly! Within 5 minutes, Glynn and I had changed into our swimwear and jumped excitedly into the clear blue sea. The beach there streched out about a kilometre and was littered with the most fascinating array of shells all along the high tide line. Swimming in the sea was divine as the beach shelved away gently and was as calm as can be.

After a short while, Liz's daughter, Nicola, and her boyfriend, Mike, joined us and we tucked in to yet another of Liz's amazing picnics. As the sun beat down, we all veered back to the water, while Nicola and Mike headed off along the beach to go snorkelling. After drying off and baking ourselves in the sun for a while, we took a stroll along the beach with Liz and Allard to check out some rocky coastline a bit further down. Picking our way across the layers of eroded rocks and boulders, we saw hermit crabs and minute shrimp darting about in the rockpools
Beach to the leftBeach to the leftBeach to the left

Nice, isn't it?
and hundreds of scallop and oyster shells scattered about. I've never seen anything like it in my life! Glynn spied something fossilised poking out of a fallen boulder and I think they might be trilobites. Check out the photos and see what you think.

As we relaxed back under our shady tree and sampled some of Liz's homemade banana cake (I can't begin to describe how utterly mouthwateringly delicious it was), we got chatting to a huge Maori family camped out under the tress next to our spot. It was their once-a-year family gathering where 4 generations of the family come together to stay connected. They played and sang traditional music that was so soft a sweet and all around there was a wonderful sense of happiness. I don't think we could have wished for a better location.

We packed up and took a drive around some of the exclusive developments to see what all the fuss was about but personaly, you couldn't have paid me to take a house in Gulf Harbour, one of the newest complexes. We wandered around and watched the boats come sailing in to the marina at the end of the day but
Beach to the rightBeach to the rightBeach to the right

Where would you rather be, Birmingham or Auckland?
aside from that, it didn't seem to offer anything you couldn't find anywhere else in Auckland at a fraction of the price. But hey, that's just my opinion!

All in all, I don't think we could have wished for a more perfect day. WE arrived back at our apartment a little 'sunkissed' as Liz calls it. That's where you've caught the sun a bit and feel all sleepy from your 'exertions' down on the beach. It's a hard life, eh?

Additional photos below
Photos: 16, Displayed: 16


Splish SplashSplish Splash
Splish Splash

Come on in, the water's lovely!
Give Us a WaveGive Us a Wave
Give Us a Wave

Not that kind of wave Glynn - a sea wave.
Rugged RocksRugged Rocks
Rugged Rocks

Check out this cool rock erosion.
Life's a BeachLife's a Beach
Life's a Beach

Looking back along the beach.
Hermit CrabsHermit Crabs
Hermit Crabs

See the little green bits poking out from these shells? They're tiny hermit crabs!
He Sells SeashellsHe Sells Seashells
He Sells Seashells

JIsh fancies himself as a hermit crab but can't quite find a shell big enough.
Mrs PoppelbaumMrs Poppelbaum
Mrs Poppelbaum

A portrait of our surrogate mum, Liz.
Mr PoppelbaumMr Poppelbaum
Mr Poppelbaum

And here's Allard, our surrogate dad!
Rock PoolsRock Pools
Rock Pools

I just liked this as an arty shot of the beach at Shakespeare Park.

I think this may be a trilobite fossil but I'm no expert. Anyone know for sure?
Gulf Harbour MarinaGulf Harbour Marina
Gulf Harbour Marina

Captain Jish on the lookout for a new boat. He's not fussy, any one of these will do nicely!
Maori MarineMaori Marine
Maori Marine

Glynn checks out a Maori-inspired boat in the Gulf Harbour marina.

10th February 2008

That trilobite looking thing
I saw the same thing while I was in Cozumel about 5 years ago. Did you ever find out what it was? When ever I asked and mentioned that it look like a trilobite people would often laugh me off saying their extinct!
1st May 2008

Trilobite fossil
Hi guys! You'll be interested to know that the trilobite fossil is abtially a chiton, and it's alive (believe it or not!) Have a look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyplacophora Pretty odd looking things, kinda interesting. Try as I may when I was a kid I just couldn't get them off the rocks, they're stuck on pretty hard!
2nd May 2008

Not a Trilobite
Thanks for the info. I had a feeling it might be something else purely because of the location. I'll take a look at that link :-)
4th September 2010

It's not a Trilobite, they're extinct looooong time ago! It's a Chiton sp. (scientific name) I know about the matter...

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