On Saturday, January 28 the ward had a hike to Makara Beach. We met at the parking lot and then proceeded to hike around the beach and then over the mountain back to the parking lot. We have never been on a hike before as varied as this one. We started by hiking along the beach, then we climbed over huge boulders, then along a very rocky beach, over some fallen timbers and then over the mountain. On the other side of the mountain the path was almost non-existent and very steep next to the cliff overlooking the ocean. It was suppose to be a short hike but we started at 10:30 and finished at about 3:30. It was challenging but also very pretty and from the top of the mountain we could see across to the south island.
The elders and the ward mission leader couldn't pass up the opportunity to climb this huge boulder out in the ocean. In fact all along the hike they managed to climb every rock and hill that they could find.
The little boy Ben in the front got to the beach and realized that he had forgotten his shoes at home. He was a real trooper. He started out by hiking with his black socks on but by the time we finished he was hiking barefooted. This was not an easy task since the shore was covered with medium sized rocks.
Don and I found walking sticks along the way and many times we were happy that we were able to balance ourselves with them especially on the other side when it became very steep.
As you can see the wind is still blowing in New Zealand. It is the middle of summer but we are still wearing jackets.
This is a picture of Elder Lott and Elder Finlinson. Elder Lott lives in the flat directly behind us. Elder Lott is from Burley, Idaho and Elder Finlinson is from Delta, Utah.
This is Brother Kennach and Elder Masalu resting before continuing the hike. Brother Kennach's son Mario just left to serve a mission in Australia. Mario served as the young adult rep for our ward so we got to know him really well at Family Home Evenings.
Here is another rock for Elder Armstrong, Elder Lott and Elder Finlinson to climb.
In New Zealand you can't have a hike without seeing sheep. In fact you can't go anywhere without seeing sheep.
We are all excited because we finally made it to the top of the mountain. It should be downhill from here.
The mountains in the back is actually the south island. It is only about 30 miles from the north island to the south island.
Ben and Samantha Osler were amazing on the hike. They were the only children that made the complete hike and of course Ben made it without shoes. They are a fun couple and they are expecting their third child the first part of May. They are from Utah but working in New Zealand for WETA.