Tearooms of State Highway 1 – Part 5

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Return to Sender – Leigh to Auckland

From Leigh I decided to take the long way home. Out to Pakiri Beach, then out to Wellsford and along SH16 through Helensville. So after a very, very leisurely start to the day, I headed out to Pakiri Beach. I was prepared to swim if the sun came out, but the weather still hadn’t decided what it’s plans were for the day, so mine could not be set in stone either. When I got to the beach it was cloudy, not raining, but far from sunny. So it was to be a walk for Palin before the journey home, and that was it. One interesting thing on the empty, sunless beach was a boat washed half way up the beach. Not a big boat, but not a small boat. The smallest possible boat that has a helm and instruments. “3 Amigos” was her name, and she looked like she could use some friends. Mostly broken up, but possibly salvageable. I’m not an expert on restoring washed up boats. I don’t know if anyone is, but I certainly didn’t attempt any form of salvage. I simply took some photos and let her be. Walking back to my car, I started to feel a little peckish. Maybe I’ll have lunch before I head off, I thought. This was not to be, as I had left all my food at the bach. I quickly weighed up my options, or rather the cost of diesel compared with the cost of replacing the food. Cost of food won outright.

 It was only a 20-minute  trip back, but that meant a 40-minute round-trip. Since I was in no rush of any kind, I was actually pleased to have something else to fill my day. So I shot back, got my food, had lunch and shot back (to where I had originally shot back from) and continued on to Wellsford. An endless number of farms and beautiful, if a little tedious, sheep splattered hillsides later and I was in Wellsford. Then it was straight on through to SH16 and out towards Helensville. More pastures and sheep then I got to Helensville. The seemingly mythical Helensville. Many people believe it is a fantasy town that exists solely on signs indicating which direction to head along the North-Western motorway so you don’t go back to the city, heaven forbid. But here it was, THE Helensville. For a town that is the North-Western Motorway opposite of Auckland, it was not so impressive. It’s not a bad town, but I think the honour of being the guiding light for people desperately trying to leave the city is a bit mis-bestowed. I can’t think of any other towns that may deserve this honour, besides maybe Kumeu, but maybe it’d be better if they just had `Auckland’ pointing one way and `Anywhere But’ pointing the other.

This was a moot point at the time anyway, as for once I was in fact heading for `Auckland’. And head I did. So much so that I eventually got home. Again, much the same as the previous night, I sat on the couch and flicked on the TV. This time I didn’t have coffee and it wasn’t raining. But that hardly matters now does it.


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