This will be my last entry for a month as I’m off to Trinidad and Tobago via San Francisco. So I thought I’d put up one of my favourite photos as a parting shot, as it were.  It’s the original colour version of the black and white detail that makes up the header of this page. Piha is Auckland’s most famous surf beach, renowned for its dangerous rips and unpredictability. So dangerous can it be a reality TV series is made each year focusing on the work of the local life saving crews called Piha Rescue, which says all that needs to be said about the perils of swimming here. But that doesn’t stop hordes of holiday makers doing so every summer, some of whom get into difficulties after downing one too many beers in our unforgiving,  burning sun. No danger of drowning, you’d think, when this mid-winter photo was taken. But Kiwis are hardy, and some might say foolhardy as, shortly after this was snapped, a man stripped off and ran into the freezing surf, though he didn’t stay submerged too long. I was so lucky to be there at the moment the sun peaked out of the clouds, bathing this scene is such a dramatic way. I feel it sums up the dangerous magnificence of Piha perfectly. Later the sun came out properly and so did the beach walkers, revelling in the beauty of this wonderful place.

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