Thursday, 4 December 2014

WHATIPU (cave exploring)

Sometimes during the middle of the week, when the sun is finally shinning, you just have to drop everything and head out looking for adventure.  Before you know it you're out of the city, you've driven your car through a little stream, stopped at a tiny corner store for a snack, and are winding your way down an endless gravel road in search of ancient caves.  

There's hardly a better reminder of how small and seemingly insignificant we are in the greater scheme of things than when you're standing inside a cave that is millions of years your senior.  Your voice echo's off the wet, dripping walls and the air feels heavy with age.  They say that Whatipu is haunted, that the lost souls of 189 men who drowned when their boat sunk on this treacherous shore line still walk the coast.  If you listen carefully you can hear their mournful cries.  Over at the historic Gibbons estate (now a lodge) there have been countless sightings of a translucent pink lady who paces the property and appears to visitors in broad daylight.  And yet despite all these drifting souls with their tragic stories, there is an incredibly invigorating energy out here.  As though if you stood high on the dunes and threw your arms in the air, the salty wind would blow all your troubles away in one powerful gust.

By the time we got home in the late afternoon we were completely sapped of our energy.  We wanted nothing more than to lay down in the sunniest nook of the house and close our eyes.  Exhausted, happy and content.

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