A bach (pronounced batch) is to kiwis what a holiday crib is to us. Back in Northern Virginia/DC, owning a beach house or vacation home often meant that your family was upper middle to straight up high class, as it often seen as a sign of affluence. Surprisingly, although the use of a “bach” has been widely incorporated in kiwi culture, there are some major differences. For instance, they’re built purposely small and compact. A lot of them are single-story structures with a handful of rooms. They also tend to be pretty basic — as in limited amenities, use of a septic tank (“if it’s yellow, let it mellow”), and byo sheets/supplies. You come in, you leave it as you found it kinda deal.
Anyway, bigger is definitely not necessarily seen as better here (except for crayfish); it’s actually quite the opposite. Since there’s more of an emphasis on, oh let’s say, relationships and getting to know people better, cozy well-laid out spaces invite more interaction and conversations.
Do you remember sleepovers as a child? Staying at a bach is basically like going over to a friend’s house and eating their pizza, chatting with the cool parents, passing out wherever there’s space, and hoping for cold breakfast leftovers.
This is literally what Harold and I did in Gisborne. Invited to stay over by Zac, we made and devoured a half dozen pizzas from scratch. Done mostly through trial and error, they were carefully kneaded, topped, and baked in an outdoor clay oven. It might’ve been tricky labor, but hey, that’s amore!
Five minutes away lies the beach. It might’ve been sunny as, but getting in that water would’ve been like volunteering for the ice bucket challenge.
Back at base, meals were a communal effort and Z’s bro even left us a few brilliantly-sized crayfish/lobsters.
Since treating us to gourmet dinners and comfortable accommodation simply wasn’t enough (spoiled people alert), Zac made sure we got to experience an authentic, kiwi as tradition – the Rere Rockslide!
As far as BrokeLemons activities go, this one did not break the bank whatsoever…just Harold’s backside. This slippery-sloped, algae-filled natural slide does not adhere to any laws of physics. Losing your boogie board might suddenly mean a descent using your clawing hands, feet or poor bum. Other than taking turns one at a time, forget the rules! There are so many ways to go down, but no one to catch you if you bounce back up (the crowd is generally supportive).
To the people who gave us such great company, Z, P, J Power, K & A, thank you. We had one of our best times in New Zealand out at Gizzy. True story, bro.