The ocean was a glistening calm.  Gentle waves broke all along the beach walked today.

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Ganets in search of breakfast, morning tea and lunch patrolled the shallows from above.  When an eggs benedict or sausage roll or chicken roll was spotted, the Ganet dive bombed head first into the water to resurface with meal firmly between beaks.  Once swallowed, it was a repeat performance. How come they are not fat for eating so much like us?  Trying to capture that national geographic photo of a Ganet in action took some patience.  Looked more like a crab claw than bird missile plunging.

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At first, we had to squint the eyes on the couple up front.  She was fully clothed.  He wasn’t!  Every now and again, they would stop meaning we caught up to them and by then, she too had got butt naked.  Both being in their seventies, anatomy was more about drooping gravitationally versus hanging naturally!

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There was no shaking of hands during salutation pleasantries.  Health and safety thing.  Maintaining eye contact when communicating with folk who are standing there in the raw was held continuously as best we could.

It was an encounter never encountered before and another couple soon passed us going in the opposite direction.  We both admitted later that we couldn’t help sneaking a glimpse of genitalia.  Did that make us perverts?  As each couple of naked arses moved off in opposite directions, we decided to take a rest stop.

Not sure what possessed us.  Off came our apparel and stark bollock naked, we ran into the ocean for a skinny dip.  It was refreshing, invigorating, impromptu and fun.

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When the lone figure going in our direction caught up with us as we were tying up our boot laces, we recognised it to be Ken whom we met at the eco-camp.  He too was doing the TA and at 76 years of age, he had walked every step the whole way.  He was living proof that age isn’t a barrier to pursue your dreams that matter most; it was an enjoyable walk shared into Waipu.  We hoped his eye sight wasn’t as sharp so as to get an eye full look of our white bottoms earlier!

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Parting company and after a lunch stop, we exited Wiapu with the thumb out.  It wasn’t long before we were picked up, transported and then dropped off at a point to walk the Mangawhai Coastal Walk.

dsc09506-1280x853It was steep cliffs above turquoise waters with Pohutakawa separating the view.  The Coromandel Peninsula was able to be made on the distant skyline. It wasn’t long before architecturally designed residential properties started to skirt the trail.  There is some serious wealth here as we wove down to sea level.  Eight houses into full suburbia and resting under some shade was being at the right place at the right time.  A chap checking on the beach house we sat in-front of offered us a ride to the campsite turn off 8 further kilometres up the road making it sooner to pitch the Kermit tent.

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Getting naked for a second time today to wash off the sweat grime was more reserved for the privacy of camp ablutions.

We had also caught up with our TA family and them seeing their parents starkers not the appropriate thing to be remembered for.