Sometimes life can be like a movie and what I am experiencing here in Auckland is that sometimes real-life can imitate a movie. After reading the screenplay and watching the movie being filmed, I am realizing that I am hanging out with a character in the movie. I enjoy singing, playing guitar, and making up songs and so does the lead actor, Graham Candy.
I have tagged along with Graham to downtown venues in Auckland to perform music with him in different bars. We get our free beers for playing and have a good laugh like we both enjoy doing, as we did last night. It is all very surreal and I am starting to lose my sense of what my reality is when hanging out with this real-life character. He is a damn talented singer and guitar player that naturally hits your chakra when he sings his melodic, original songs. When Shiloh first told me about Graham Candy, I didn’t expect that he would be that good of a singer.
Shiloh wrote Graham’s character in the movie with things that were in Graham’s real life, like his music and even his old, 1962 classic car that never fails to break down. Graham and I were having a hoot after pushing his car down a hill late, last night to jump-start it. We also had to run and jump-start it this morning before we commenced our road trip to the beach as his car is in the movie.
Today we drove about three hours from Auckland to New Zealand’s Pacific coast at the northeast tip of the Coromandel Peninsula. Our destination was Hot Water Beach to film scenes for this independent feature film.
This country has some of the most lovely landscapes and natural beauty of this world. On our drive today, I was enamored by a medium-sized tree, the Silver Fern. The Silver Fern grows in abundance in the rainforest of these coastal mountains and it is such a magical, peaceful-looking tree.
Shiloh and I were in Costa Rica recently when he was working on another movie near Dominical. The lush rainforest here along the mountain roads reminds us of the windy, downhill drives in Costa Rica.
New Zealand is built on about 27 different extinct volcanoes. There are over 60 active, dormant and extinct volcanoes in New Zealand. Volcanoes develop massive underground reservoirs of superheated water. Over time, this water will escape to the surface and cool along the way. The film destination we went to today, Hot Water Beach, has hot springs in the sand as the volcanic water fissures to the surface on the beach.
The hot spring water can get up to temperatures of up to 147 degrees Fahrenheit! When the tide goes out, visitors grab there five-dollar rented shovels and start digging their holes.
It is currently Wintertime in New Zealand as it is in the Southern Hemisphere, so the ocean water is very cold. After you dig your hole, the frigid seawater mixes with the hot-spring water and you have your own private pool. You can moderate the temperature as you like by digging around in different spots in your pool to access the hot water. Some spots get too hot! It is relaxing when your feet and body feel that pleasant mix of cold sea-water and healthy hot-spring water.
Today was a wonderful day. Our crew loaded in three cars and drove to the beach. It felt like we went to the beach to have a fun beach-holiday and not work. However, we went there to shoot a movie and that’s what we did.
We got some awesome footage on the road and at the beach as some scenes took place in the hot-springs. We also relaxed and most of us jumped in and enjoyed our private beach pools. It was an easy day for me to take photos. I just laid in the sand on my back in the hot-springs and snapped away. Shiloh and I laughed about it being a tough day on the job. I have to thank the director, Mardana, for reminding me not to forget my swim trunks before we left this morning.
We met other visitors today, including some Canadians that were traveling through New Zealand and getting by with work on farms. All in all it was another great day in New Zealand of being creative, working with talented people, and meeting new friends along the way.
So cool! Private hot springs in any shape you want?