Driftwood cooking at Napenape beach

Driving away from Christchurch in a drizzle Sunday morning felt like an act of faith. We had been invited to a day at the beach 2 hours north and the forecast was for the rain to quit mid-morning, but it sure didn’t look promising as we donned our long underwear and rain gear. But as predicted, the rain lifted and left us with a gorgeous day at Napenape, 20 K down a gravel road to the secluded beach.

Emma and Ian invited us and another American family to join them for the day. They and their 3 kids moved here from England almost a year ago. They found Napenape on an exploring expedition a while back and were giddy over the fact that they could build a fire on the beach without drawing the police (as would have been the case in England). Emma and Ian are fun. They LOVE New Zealand, feel it is worlds better than England in the freedom they enjoy and the hiking/exploring opportunities. I find their enthusiasm refreshing.

The guys tied some driftwood together with flax leaves and it made a nice wind break when covered with a tarp.

We all brought something so scorch over the fire. Jeremiah’s contribution are those red sausages, kind of like fat hotdogs. The unidentifiable pieces of meat on the left are chicken necks, sold here in the store, that Emma and Ian brought to grill (eaten like chicken wings). The coffee percolator is Eric’s–he and Jennifer are pretty serious about their coffee. There ARE vegetables too–my potatoes are underneath the fire wrapped in foil.

Perky coffee! Nice job Eric (and Jeremiah for campfire assistance).

Beach sand, what can be more fun than that? Why, beach sand with a buddy, of course!

This wasn’t exactly a swimming beach! The waves looked super menacing when it was cloudy and somewhat playful when sunny, but they weren’t kind or gentle. Definitely not boogie boarding or surfing material.

BOOM! No wonder the description is “crashing waves.” The wind took the spray and flung it down the beach, making it misty.

The waves provided an interesting challenge when getting water to douse the fire. By the time the dying wave reached the dry part of the beach it was almost all foam. The dad’s dashed into the wave with a bucket and the kids ferried the water to the fire pit.

Seven kids, six adults, zero dogs, tons of stuff, and new friends. It was a fun day.

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