Sand + Water = two year old paradise. We’ve done a lot of driving lately and we’re starting to make beach stops a habit, giving Milo a chance to stretch his legs and paddle around before stuffing him back in his car seat. Jeremiah found this neat spot in Dunedin (on the way back from the Kepler run), where the access trail involves a tunnel cut through the cliff to reach a low-tide beach hemmed in by sandstone cliffs.
Fwap! Take that, Water! Milo found this piece of seaweed to be the perfect whip.
Jeremiah shepherded Milo around this peninsula, one hand on his shirt at all times, heading off his attempts to chase sea gulls off the cliff edge.
My charge at this beach was simpler–keep the immobile baby warm, shaded, fed and happy. Maybe I’ll look back at these photos in a few years and see a family resemblance in our faces, but right now it’s just too close for me to discern.
Just a bit up the coast from Dunedin are the Moeraki boulders, peculiar round rocks squatting in the waves on a random stretch of desolate coastal beach. Maori legend says they’re gourds scattered from a shipwrecked canoe, a particularly unsatisfactory explanation for science geeks like us. The tourist sign says they are “concretions” formed by lime migrating around some central point deep within mud and sand sediments on the ocean floor. Still begs the question WHY? (I’m sounding like Milo now.) At any rate, the resulting round rocks are harder than their beds of sandstone and mudstone so when the waves scour away the sedimentary rocks, the perfect Moeraki Boulders are left for curious humans to oogle.
You can see why the Maori came up with a legend to explain the boulders–they really do look like toys of the gods.
One of the strangest things about the Moeraki boulder beach is the continuous stream of camera-waving tourists (us included) that flock to this otherwise abandoned bit of coast. It’s actually hard to get a photo of just the rocks among the crowds.
Here, after all, is the real reason we stop at beaches. Look at those happy toes. Most of that sand makes it back into the car with us too.