View from the bach at Leigh
About 6 months ago we bought ourselves a bach in Leigh. It’s not terribly posh. You could easily mistake it for a Lockwood, but it’s half way up a cliff and all you can see from the deck is the sea and the horizon and, jutting out, the distant peninsula that is home to the Tauwharanui Regional Park and, on a clear day, Great Barrier Island. And all you can hear are the waves breaking on the rocks at the bottom of the cliff.
To get from Auckland to Leigh, you head for the Warkworth turn-off to Matakana, then on to Leigh bypassing the turn-0ff to Omaha.
I remembered that John Key has a holiday home at Omaha where he barbecued chops and sausages for John Campbell.
I’m a nosy bugger and about a month ago could no longer resist the temptation to check out the resort which our Prime Minister had chosen as his Kiwi – as distinct from Hawaiian – holiday destination.
I gather there’s a fashionable and unfashionable part of Omaha. Homes in the “unfashionable” part have apparently just hit the $3 million mark, so the price of a “bach” in “fashionable” Omaha must be astronomical.
To satisfy my curiosity about Omaha Judy and I made a detour on our way from Matakana to Leigh.
There are a lot of posh and a lot of not-so-posh-looking houses. The land in front of the houses is flat, so the only elevation above sea level, and therefore the only view of the sea, is from any storey above ground level. The streets in front of the houses form a grid of roughly parallel lines. We drove down Street One for as far as we could go, then did a U-turn round the median strip into Street Two which ran parallel and brought us back to our starting point.
It was a deeply depressing excursion.
I’m sitting on the couch in our “Lockwood” now, looking across the sea to the horizon, interrupted on one side by Great and Little Barrier and on the other by the Tauwharanui Peninsula. Occasionally you can see the Coromandel. But you can always hear the waves breaking on the rocks.
I’m listening to my all time favourite LP, The Eagles’ Hotel California – The Last Resort:
“Some rich men came and raped the land,
Nobody caught ‘em
Put up a bunch of ugly boxes, and Jesus,
people bought ‘em
And they called it paradise
The place to be
They watched the hazy sun, sinking in the sea
“And you can see them there,
On Sunday morning
They stand up and sing about
what it’s like up there
They call it paradise
I don’t know why
You call someplace paradise,
kiss it goodbye”
Love that song!