26/5/09 11 °C
Today our plan is to drive around the Coromandel Peninsula. The drive is very similar to that of the west coast of the South Island although there are considerable more narrow and windy roads complete with corners in which you have to use a giant mirror to see oncoming traffic. We stopped in a couple of towns along the way but this area is definitely more vibrant in the summertime, right now everything is boarded up and dead. We stopped at Hot Water Beach and after battling the river to get to the hot part of the beach, we were faced with another dilemma; there was no more room to dig a pool! As per past situations, the giant backpacker bus that will remain unnamed (there are only three so just rotate them) pulled up and unloaded all its passengers onto the beach. This combined with the previous beach occupants meant no room at the inn. Combined with the rapidly incoming tide, we decided to hightail it out before we got stuck. We did however find a stream of water emptying from the dug out pool that was delightfully warm! After much deliberation, we decided it would be best to forgo trying to revisit the beach at next low tide and instead made our way to Cathedral Cove where we were also faced with ANOTHER busload of the aforementioned dreaded bus companies. The walk down to the rock formation was beautiful and the rocks were even more spectacular in person. Once the bus group made it down to the beach, we hightailed it back up and headed to the nearest DOC site where we camped alongside a beautiful little river.