The weather was fine and warm, with good blustery winds blowing along the beach. Just the right conditions for the Otaki Kite Festival. Crowds flocked to Otaki Beach to view the vast array of kites flying overhead. These were not those monster kites held aloft with copious quantities of hot air and travelling the skies with their wicker baskets full of excited people. These kites, in all shapes and sizes, were tethered to an array of tractors parked long the beach. And try as they might with their fierce flutters, the kites were firmly attached and couldn’t escape to fly away into the wild blue yonder. And best of all for family groups and oldies like us, the festival was free. Big ones, small ones, lots with long fluttering tails, novelty shapes and box kites too.
People were everywhere, all along the beach, and they walked along taking photos. And the kites didn’t have to be flying high to get an appreciative audience. These youngsters were fascinated with the rows of birds standing fluttering in the sand just in front of them.
Some people brought their deck chairs to sit on and watch the display. While others had a brilliant view from the top of the building. I don’t think I would want to sit up there. There were food stalls galore, with everything from hot chips, cold drinks, and burgers. We settled for a blackberry ice-cream and sat down under the veranda, trying to finish our ice creams before they melted.
And we couldn’t get away from Health and Safety warnings. “Kites can be dangerous”, we were warned. We can believe that, as we watched a man close by putting his kite through it’s paces. It was a dual line kite and looped the loop, then seem to head straight towards us. It travelled so fast and furious we just had to hope that the lines were too short for it actually reach us and bash us in the head, as we wouldn’t have had time to get out of the way. A couple of youngsters weren’t at all scared. “Come and stand here”, I heard one boy tell his friend, “and see if the kite gets us”. Luckily the kite owner seemed to be in complete control, and we didn’t witness any accidents.
It was a fun afternoon down at the beach, and it was great to see so many people out enjoying the kites. On the way back to the car we spotted this cute little caravan used to advertise the Kapiti area.