Over the summer, we've visited during the hottest parts of the day. Protected by the shade, we forgot how hot it was and shed our cranky overheated selves in favour of our contented adventure-seeking selves. After the walk, we'd picnic along the shores of the stream and the kids played in the water for hours. They fashioned boats out of leaves with daisy chain propellers and experimented with releasing them in different spots, splashing along the stream to see where they'd end up. Science in action!
We are always on the look out for new adventure spots! So on the way home, when we spied a line up of cars along Whakamarama Road around the corner from Leyland Road, we were lured by the smell of fun. We followed the jandal over the stile, through the field, and down the blackberry bordered path to a gorgeous not-so-secret swimming hole. There was a row of large rocks between the two water holes where many of the other visitors had spread out their towels and set up their picnics.
We were greeted by 3 eels in the shallow section of the larger swimming hole. "They're more afraid of you then you are of them," one of the already dripping swimmers told me, clearly oblivious to how scared I actually was of the slimy would-be biters. After many deep breaths and evil eyes directed at the eels, I mustered the nerve to jump in, willing my splash to act as a warning to the eels that I was not to be reckoned with. The bigger kids soon followed, while some of the younger swimmers felt more comfortable in the waterfall pool where there were no eels awaiting. The bravest among us swam to the explore the waterfall.
As our crew took turns jumping in, it became clear that it was the mums who were going to be uncooperative when it came time to leave. One mum said, "We really have to go home now," but still found herself jumping in half an hour later, while her children sat dry on the rocks. "Just one more jump!" "Oh, I haven't done a canon ball yet!" "Let's go at the same time!" "I'm going to jump from the higher rock!" "Last one for real this time!" "If you're going again, I'm going again!" "No really this is my last one!"
Go on give it a go! I promise you'll have even more fun than your children.