I’m glad it’s cloudy today. First, clouds are closer to rain than blue skies, and we do keep hoping for a very wet overnight rainfall. Second, I wanted to take you inland today. Even though the west coast beaches have reopened after a man was attacked by a great white shark, the thought of that tragic death is still with me, and I don’t feel like cavorting in the surf today.
So — are you ready? Shoes off, and down the steps we go. And thank you for letting me know how much you enjoyed our bare-foot coastal walk. This next one has some surprises.

First we walk alongside the stream. The path is sandy, and pleasant underfoot.
It takes us to a big open space. This sand-impounded dune is one of the largest in New Zealand. It was formed over a long time, as the wind blew sand up from the beach and almost completely blocked the Wainamu stream, which was innocently gurgling its way down from the bush-covered Waitakere hills (now Centennial Park).

 We are walking over ironsand. I know how this can burn the soles of the feet, which is why we are taking this walk on a cloudy day, and starting out in the morning, before the heat has built. Can you imagine a point between the slope on the left, and the one on the right? That’s where we are going to discover . . .

yes – it’s still here, and if we just keep walking we will soon see more. . . 

 There—Lake Wainamu, a large deep freshwater lake, which is now mostly a reserve.

These hot feet need cooling, so in we plunge for a delicious freshwater swim. 
In the next blog I will take you to a special part of this reserve, which I haven’t been able to visit for many years – and I’ll tell you why. For now, I leave you swimming in the lake, refreshing yourself. This post has taken one hour and 40 minutes to complete, using my laptop on dialup from the bach. So I think I’ll wait till I’m back in town before finishing the story. Thank you for your company; it’s good to know that you are out there.