|Renee, who is my friend from work, and I left Auckland city for a road trip to Pakiri on Friday night. Pakiri is on the East coast, about two hours North of Auckland. We booked ourselves in for a night in a cabin at the camp site which sits right on the beach front. I never expected Pakiri to be so isolated, we drove along a windy road in the dead of night, the only life was the odd possum which my formula one co-driver was keen to squash. After watching Woolf Creek I was riddled with the premonitions of breaking down and being rescued by some crazy red neck, as in the blackness of the night, and along the gritted track, we could see no lights. This crazy idea of mine diminished as we drove into the campsite entrance and were greeted by a warm smiling face of the owner who directed us to our cabin. Our home for the night was basic, our beds bowed in the middle from over indulged yanks who had in slept on these mattresses before us and our television was brought to us by a time machine from the early 1900's, and was there purely for decoration. Nevertheless, we weren't there to watch the TV, or sleep well, we were there to play cards, games and enjoy eachothers company over a bottle of red wine until our adventure the following day.
We woke to the shrill of screaming children who were also excited about being away from the city centre. Our day began with a crispy bacon sarnie and a cup of flat coke. We were ready and prepared for what was to come - sore arses! We booked a half day's horse trek along beautiful Pakiri surf beach. Now coming from a 'horsey' background, I'd always dreamt about galloping along a beautiful beach with the horses hooves thundering through the shallow water, and all my dreams came true and my expectations were most definitely met. The beach was absolutely beautiful and was 14km of white golden sand and crystal clear water, see for yourself, the sun was shining and the company too. I rode a 12 year old called Geri, she became Gezza as our relationship developed. Renee rode Pinky the wonderhorse who wanted to take over the world, Renee spent the best part of the hack persuading Pinky this was not the case as she was just another pony belonging to just another stableyard. Gezza was abit of a pushbutton donkey, who liked to dominate the waters edge and stay at the back of the ride, she was a follower, not a leader, that I knew. Pinky and Gezza took us on an overdue gallop along the beach, through some beautiful forests and sandunes and a canter through windy paths of native bush and finishing along a scenic estuary. At one point I was abit concerned as Gezza seemed to be quite tired and I was worried that she would collapse on her hoofs but then came a downward slope and she picked up again.
We made it back to the stables in one piece after both thoroughly enjoying our ride. We said goodbye to our fellow guide and made our way slowly back to Auckland, stopping for fish and chips and some view point photos of the surrounding areas ,which gave me a real good taster of what was to come next in mine and Chris's journey.