Mangawhai Day 1

Last weekend we were kindly invited down to Managwhai, a popular coastal town just north of Auckland by our Landlord, who owns a holiday home down there.

The view from the deck of the lagoon, the sand bar and the sea beyond

We arrived late afternoon to find the family there complete with two young kids, Toby and Grace (5 and 3), Grandma and two American travellers, Valerie and Alli, who were also staying with the family and helping out as the parents had to pop down to Auckland.
Upon arriving, Laura, Valerie, Alli and I took the kids down the steep path to the beach. ‘You don’t need shoes,’ Toby had told me. He ran off in front as I trod on sticks, a variety of pointy leaves and finally squelched my feet through some mud and onto the beach.
The area was beautiful. The house was raised just above a tidal lagoon, the majority of which was only separated from the sea by a sandbar.
We sploshed along the edge of the lagoon, enjoying the pastel sky as the sun descended slowly. Toby clambered over the rocks, as we left the girls behind. I somehow had managed to pick the sharpest route possible, gingerly trying not to put too much weight on any foot at any given time due to the razor-like pointy rocks. Every step was accompanied by a ‘Ow, Oh, Ow, bugger!’ as I moved like someone who was being electrocuted in the ribs every 2 seconds.

‘Keep up,’ demanded Toby as he leaped from rock to rock like a mountain goat.
‘I think we should probably head back soon,’ I suggested as I slowly watched the sun disappear.
‘There’s something I want to show you, it’s just around the corner,’ said Toby, endeavoring forward.
Reluctantly I carried on, until we passed the final outcrop that revealed…nothing.
‘Right Toby, time to go back,’ I said asserting my authority.
‘But there’s something I want to show you, it’s just around the corner.’
I looked at the flat shoreline ‘We’re out of corners. There are no more corners!’
Finally, I managed to persuade Toby to head back with a promise of ice cream and another adventure tomorrow but the thought of my poor tender feet being punctured and scraped along the rocks was too much, so I waded into the lagoon and trudged along on the cool, soft sand. It was bliss.
‘Can I go on your shoulders please?’ asked Toby nicely from the shore.
I was pondering this proposition when he added, ‘It would be quicker.’
I looked at the fading light, ‘Fine.’
With Toby up on my shoulders we made good progress back along the beach. ‘Go faster,’ he said, riding me like a jockey.
‘My shorts will get wet if I go any faster,’ I reasoned.
‘Faster, faster, faster!’ began the chant from above my head, until I finally succumbed to the peer pressure and galloped through the waist high water until I was completely soaked.
Back on land, Toby dismounted me and scampered off for his late dinner, leaving me to enjoy the sunset in my wet clothes from the deck.

The weekend would be filled with little Tobyisms, ‘My mum gets me sweets when I go to the market’ or ‘My Dad lets me watch TV before bed.’ They were absolutely lovely kids but we’d certainly have to keep our wits about us and I would certainly take my shoes everywhere from now on.