What is a New Zealand Christmas without a trip to the beach? As Palmerston North is only 40mins away from it's beaches, there's almost no excuse. Finding the perfect day is a skill.
Wednesday 6 January looked like it was shaping up to be one of those perfect beach days, sunshine, light breeze and tides perfect.
When the residents where asked if they would like to go out for ice-cream after lunch there was a mixed reaction. When mentioned we where going to Foxton Beach to get them, as the icecream parlour at the beach is not to be missed! This brought about a whole different reaction to the outing.
Ten of us climbed aboard the Julia Wallace 'silver bullet' at 1.45pm, feeling sad that we couldn't bring everyone with us.
The first stop was the wharf at Foxton which is the mouth of the Manawatu River. It was built in the early 1900's and was one of the busiest in the North Island, transporting sheep and flax. The wharf has changed a bit since those days, with a new ramp to launch the two catamarans heading for the Australian oil rigs.
We watched the number of people fishing off the wharf on the incoming tide. They didn't seem to be catching many fish though.
Next we drove along the road a short distance to the estuary, to see the godwits that fly from Alaska nonstop to Foxton Estuary every summer to breed before the return journey. We saw them in the distance, making a mental note to take binoculars next time.
It was now ice cream time, ten single scoops please one of each flavour. They turned out to be very large ice creams, making us pleased we never ordered double scoops. They seemed to melt quicker than we could eat them.
We drove to the beach and parked up. Sitting in the sun at the beach on a beautiful day is so relaxinga and rejuvenating.
Cold drinks all round as we watched families playing and swimming, boats out at sea and Kapiti Island in the distance.
All too soon it was time to head home for dinner. A couple of our residents used to live in Foxton so we drove through the town so they could give us a guided tour of then and now. We then drove back through Rongotea, which was also well known to some.
Everyone is looking forward to the next trip to Foxton for ice-creams.