After a drive where I was pointing out all the houses I liked rather obsessively, we stopped in Hokitika. I'm not sure at all what it means in Maori, but the place we parked is 50 to 100 meters away from the beach (exactly what the receptionist told Dad).
It's a natural beach, with darker sand than normal, stones (both enormous boulders slighlty rounded and small pebbles in all colors that lie on the sand) strewn everywhere.
We arrive at 7:30, just as the sun is preparing to start its descent into the ocean. There are stunning clouds that only become more beatuiful as the sun goes down.
We take pictures of our silhouettes against the ocean's backdrop. We look a bit crazy but it doesn't matter because the landscape is so stunnig.
There is driftwood on this beach. Not much, but there is an enormous tree trunk being worn away. Mom finds a large branch and uses it to write "De jur împrejur" in the sand. Then she writes Noi6 Around the World in the sand, but the words are a bit too long to fit into the camera, even with a panorama shot.
While we were fooling around with that, the tide was coming in… prompting a race to try and take the picture of the words before waves came in and swept the words away.
They're beautiful waves, by the way. They crash yards away from us, but then the water continues to travel as a small skim of water along the sand. And the light from the sunset plays against them, making them look lavender for a while, then pink and blue and gold. At times, they even a bit red, mirroring the clouds.
It's a stunning sight. It's also close to unexplainable, so I will simply let you imagine it.
At more than one point during the spectacular sunset, we couldn't decide whether or not to look at the sunset because the moon, at the size of a half-dollar, was rinsing in the opposite direction. We've never seen a moon this big, bu it seems that the other people on the beach with us couldn't care less about it. Is the moon normally this big in New Zealand?
We probably looked like a couple of crazy tourists because we were taking pictures with the moon— holding it, licking it, poking it, kissing it… and we didn't stop until it rose into the clouds and the camera batteries had run out.
You couldn't blame us in a way. The beach was beautiful, not just the sunset and the moonrise, but the boulders— some were black but others were white (progressing steadily from dark to light the further they got from the deep). Some were covered in seaweed. And every once in a while a wave would crash and send up droplets of water. I took as many pictures of the stones as I did of the clouds, and that's saying something.