Mary Branscombe (marypcb) wrote,
Mary Branscombe
marypcb

No divinity but water

When we're in Marahau, breakfast always means the Park Cafe (as does dinner and sometimes a carry out for lunch): eggy french roast with bacon and banana and big lattes. The landlord at the cottage promised to look up ferry times for tomorrow for us so we ran away over the hill: back to the main road and over the marble mountain where grey teeth of rock stick up. The road climbs by curves and hairpins in what turns out to be a gentle fashion compared to the descent to Golden Bay. Soon we get glimpses of the sea and then the whole valley back to Motueka creeps away beneath us to a flat plain with red fruit netting, blue sea and distant mountains beyond. There's a ridge and suddenly we see down the other side, first to Marahau and Appletree cove and then to Golden Bay. The marble sticks up like teeth and the road fishtails and hairpins and zigzags its way down with a lookout on the way to stop people just dawdling to gawk down at the view.

Even in the valley the road is still twisty, but then there's 10k of unpaved road hugging every countour of the hills up to Totaranui, with bare rock on one side and tumbling bush on the other. The beach is almost orange: the sand was rock five minutes ago. The water is blue but around the cliff egdes it's deep green.
Alas, the beach is most popular with sandflies.

Back at the main road we turn off for Pu Pu Springs, where the underground springs fills a sinkhole with amazingly clear water. You can see feet down and it looks like inches. A set of mirrors shows just how deep and clear it is - under the flat water is a deep slope studded with huge plats. The water dances with the force of the springs. Divers get a great view but diving is discouraged because the springs 'have cultural' significance' to the Maori, as the sign puts it. No feeling of sacred presence here as such, just a place that is utterly itself: I felt no divinity here but the waters themselves.
Tags: food, new zealand, travel
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