The day started at about 6.30 am when I could not stay in bed any longer. As I moved about there is no way to let the others sleep in our small sleeping area, your sleeping bag rustles, you make a noise getting out the back door to go check out the sea and the weather reports, so the whole team were awake. We chatted about our sleep, our thoughts for the day and any crazy dreams we may have had, or noises we had heard throughout the night. It is good to be me as when asleep I hear nothing. I smile to myself as Trish and Jase re-tell the trucks and sea sounds throughout the night. The weather is not letting me paddle today, so we planned to go for a big hill walk up Mt Fyffe.
After brekkie and a couple of coffees from our ROK coffee press we were off and happy to be heading away from the ocean. The team loaded up one small back pack with water, some food for the top and spare jackets etc (just incase). Jase offered to be the sherpa for the start and off we headed on this five hour return trip (that was what DOC info board said at the start). The track started, up hill we went and we continued uphill for the next 1 hour 20 minutes. It was a steep climb and we were using our lungs and legs all the way.
Jase accepted my offer after about 40 minutess to swap to me carrying the pack and I was loaded with the extra weight. There was a method to this, it was to slow me down and it did keep me at their pace for the rest of the climb. Along the way we meet Jack & Daisy on the uphill climb. We chatted and walked with them for a while and then headed off up the hill. We all had moments of thinking we where nearing the Hutt but we were all a little early with our thoughts of when this climb would end. We were by this stage in the clouds and mist, pretty cool, and at last we arrived. 1100metres we had climbed. The DOC hut was way cool and we sat, laughed and giggled at this hike up the hill. It was great for us all to be in the fresh air and open spaces. We ate a snack, the team had to suffer and chow down on my kayak snacks, tins of tuna and my snack packs of seeds oils and honey. They did not seem to mind at all. Watered and feed we gave Trish the pack for the down hill and we started off. This we were going to all run, yes run! I have this thing that whenever possible and especially when on a downhill section you should run. So down we went, some sections a little steeper than we would have liked, but it was good to keep sweating and keep the mind and body warm and active. It took us 25 mins to get back down! How totally cool it was rock hoping and bouncing down this track back to waiting Cuzzie. We then jumped in and off we headed to our next spot to visit, The Lavender Farm.
Now here is a special location. The shop smells amazing. The items inside are all really cool. Myra McLelland & family ( www.lavenderfarm.co.nz) run the farm, this is a place to visit, chat and try the products that you will most certainly want to buy. Myra is a very special, amazing lady in many ways and we chatted for a long time about the trip, my charity and her life. We then headed out into the gardens and fields of Lavender, I did not realize there was more than just one type of lavender and that their smells differed immensely. Lavender is a relaxing smell and it has many memories for all three of us today, friends, family and special people we have known have loved the smell of lavender and this brings pleasant memories to us all. We talked with the chickens and the pet lambs and were amazed at the amount of bees everywhere collecting pollen. This is a special place indeed. All I can say is, congratulations to Myra and maybe I can come back and learn a new skill in 2016. It is a wonderful place.
By this stage my stomach was rumbling and we headed for some food. After that amount of exercise I was heading for some of those amazing hot chips with heaps of salt and malt vinegar, yum! We ordered too many and had to leave some behind. As we sat in the sun of the big outdoor picnic tables we joked and laughed about the day and our hard climb and the cool people we had meet today.
Then it was along to our coffee stop. We grabbed a takeaway coffee and chatted to the team there were we realised the reason their coffee was so damn good is that they roast the beans on their premises. That is the secret. We wished them an amazing New Year and then we braved the supermarket for supplies which was a pleasant surprise, not too busy and plenty of food. Baskets filled and a small bottle of cider each for tonight with dinner to say goodbye to 2015 and hello to 2016, we headed back to the campsite.
At base we had some stuff to get done. My brownie was being cooked, thank you to the campsite for allowing us to use their personal oven for the baking, this is a very cool location and campsite. Peketa Beach Campsite, your crew are great, the showers amazing and we have loved staying. We packed up some more of my snack bags, (well actually Tricia did) I went and had kite flying lessons with Jase on the beach, I have improved! Then I left Jase to it, to really show the beach people how to use the kite with skills and to try and take out a seagull or two.
My day is nearly at an end. My year is nearly over and I have done a lot today that has made me smile:
The crazy head band that Jase put on this morning, he looked like a 70's aerobics instructor but no leg warmers. Or perhaps Krama from the Seinfeld TV show!!
The out doors hike today and the very cool downhill run.
The Lavender Farm! Oh my, this is the biggest smile today. Thank you Myra for the generous donation to the charity. It is tucked safely away in the bucket for Mental Health Foundation NZ. You totally rock!
The Team at Reserve Hut, your coffee and your cool atmosphere. It will be remembered and smiled about. I am not sure who along the way will be able to take out you and the team at no 1 spot for shots ofcoffee.
Kaikoura makes me smile. I will most certainly need to return to this place and I will feel a little sad when I leave in the morning to paddle south. There are some way cool people in a way cool town.
My slogan for the end of my 2015... "Live life with a generous and humble spirit."
Daily I am humbled by the new and amazing people I am connecting with. You all are remembered and smiled upon in my memories.
Bye for now, enjoy where ever you are
PS: it is an amazing journey I am on, so 2015 good bye. I have to actually thank you so much for the darker days you dealt me this year as they have made me believe in myself and it is now all about being ME and living my dream.