We finally found it, a quiet unassuming trail leading to the most amazing sight I've ever seen. If this were in the States it would have been marked with Vegas style lighting and plagued with churro and t-shirt stands. Aside from a few hikers here and there, it was just us and about 100 seal pups. The trail up was dotted with baby seals sleeping on rocks or jumping and making their way up stream. Once you get there it's unreal. They are jumping off rocks, wrestling each other, flipping through the air and having the time of their lives. We just sat there soaking it all in, while trying to ignore Maddox who was crying about being cold and who eventually got stuck on the slippery rocks while trying to run away and needed rescuing. Man, every party needs a pooper. But it was magical while it lasted.
While the babies swim up stream to play, the moms lounge around at the mouth of the river and sunbathe all day. Sounds about right. They weren't quite as fun to watch, they don't move much and growl if you get too close. But still amazing to see wildlife in nature and especially when that nature takes your breath away.
We were visited by this Albatross, don't be fooled, it was massive. I took this picture 100 feet away with my zoom lens because I was afraid it would peck my eye out.
The water is amazing, but the beaches leave much to be desired. Such a shame. This was the only decent patch of sand and it stunk really bad. We sort of did the plug your nose and chew thing while eating our picnic, with the occasional smile and head nod to cover up the fact that we had all lost our appetites. But the kids loved exploring. The tide pools were covered with these plant things that popped whenever you stepped on them, it was like a giant roll of bubble wrap laid before our eyes. There were all sorts of creatures and shells to be discovered and we soon forgot about the smell.
And then New Zealand went and blew my mind again. It's been doing that a lot lately. We walked up to the top of the peninsula bank where they have this track all around the edge that pretty much makes you pinch yourself the entire time. The views are that amazing. We virtually had the entire peninsula to ourselves, the sun was beaming, the greens were green, the blues were blue, the cows were grazing, the silence was golden and as we sat at the edge of the world eating handfuls of homemade granola I knew there would be few moments in life that could top this. It goes without saying that we have our hard days like all families, the days where I want to scream if I hear the word "mom" just one more time and little boys that keep coming out of bed to ask you to say prayers that they won't have bad dreams about the zombie games they were just playing, or to remind them of the lyrics to Hickory Dickory Dock, or to talk about the mummy they saw in the museum, and do you really want me to go on and on about the dialogue I've just had with Maddox over the past hour when he was supposed to be in bed? I'm just grateful for the moments that make me realize what a beautiful life I have and the moments that make me love this family of mine so hard it hurts.
I could have stayed up there all day, and all night, and quite possibly the entire next week, but the kids wanted to venture down along the coast and scour for treasures in the form of rocks, fossils, shells, starfish, bones and some poor animal's spine that Ryder had an awfully hard time parting with.
He had his little pocket filled with treasures and I loved the ritualistic little pat he gave it each time he added a new item.
The seals were everywhere, dead seals, live seals, growling seals, friendly seals...it kept us on our toes after almost stumbling on them a few times.
We ended the night with fish n' chips on the beach. I'm not a fan of the deep fried fish, but the chips...yeah, those I could eat for days. And that table with a view was definitely worth writing home about. And day 2 will have to wait for another post, because this is just too much pretty for one post to handle.