Today started with a txt to assure my host that the weather report was for no paddling, he doubted my weather forecasting ability as as where he was it was a perfect day, but I had faith that where I was to leave from and try and get too was a little different. There were jobs to be done and coffee to drink, with coffee in hand I headed out to give Cuzzie a well deserved wash and remove some of that dust she was covered in. This was a pleasant chore and was soon completed, tomorrow is the morning the job is to clean inside. As I finished my cleaning Gerard and Donna arrived and we were off on a merry road trip to go out to the Peninsula and see the roads and the hills and just drive to Pigeon Bay, Little Akaloa, Okains Bay, Duvauchelle Bay, French Farm then out to Lake Ellesmere, Birdings Flat and past Rakaia River to Coopers Beach and more. Gerard was the chauffeur and the tour guide with Donna and myself as the happy passengers, and what a hoot.
The special moments today, there are a few. The scenery and the huge hills, they are something I find hard to describe. The ocean, the valleys, the massive hills and ranges steeply climbing up towards the sky. The clouds and the vast colours, from green to golden browns to the blue of the sky and the blue of the ocean, it is like an oil painting and not any image on my camera or panoramic landscape pictures I have taken really does this coastline justice.
We drove, weaving past cyclists and other traffic up and down the narrow roads, stopping at Little Akaloa we headed to the pretty Anglican Church on the hillside. We wandered around looking for my sister in laws family headstones, as well as stepping inside this special little church. I must say this is beautiful, the most stunning little church I could have imagined with the Paua inserts and the wooden carvings and the total feeling of this church space, this is a wonderful and amazing place and location on the hill. Outside we did locate the plaque for the unmarked graves and there the Hunter family and also the other family connections were written. This little churche's resting place was magic and even more fantastic was when I stopped to talk with one of the coolest people I have connected with on this trip, Ian. He is the grave digger for this church and Ian it was truly a very special time chatting with you (I so hope you read today's blog). How can I describe this? We talked about how he enjoys what he does, how he feels special and connected with assisting those resting in this grave yard. We also connected when we talked about the greenstone carvings we both wear, having a total love and belief in the power and great feelings you get when wearing this special green stone carving and admired each others with true passion. We talked about the special feeling you have when you give away a special piece what a special place, time and moment this was a true connection.
We then headed of for more sight seeing and beach viewing along the many fingers and inlets of this cape, and there are many. We went to French Farm Bay for a picnic lunch but it was a little windy where we parked and un packed the food, so quickly the car was turned so we could stay warm and eat the yummy food we had grabbed and placed in the chilly bin. We did not sit and sun bathe today as the wind was swirling from every angle and we needed to warm up with a coffee, but firstly we went into the Cheese Factory shop in Barry's Bay. It always is a great moment looking at the cheese being made, as my Grandad was a Cheesemaker, I very cool memories, and what a cool job title! Our coffee stop was in a little cafe which was groaning at the seams with Saturday visitors, lots of very sexy motorbikes out for a tour and many families enjoying the day out.
With our coffee drunk at Little River we were on the road again, this time to look at a beach landing for me once I have managed to get down the next section of rough beach and challenging coastline. A little bit of local knowledge has helped and we found a possible okay site, and also another shelter built with large driftwood to resemble a teepee. We thanked Kingie with a beer at his local in South bridge and admired Kingies amazing lawn. We then chatted to his Dad about his next hunting trip to get some venison, such great stores and such genuine stories. There were stories about ute's getting stuck, duck shooting tales and stories that I will also keep to myself, for another time.
High tailing it now back to Christchurch to get dinner underway, we had been out for the entire day. Our chauffeur was over this driving and needed to put his feet up while the red heads cooked him dinner and made him a G & T. With dinner cooked and eaten we are now sitting with cups of tea on the table eating carrot cake and macaroons, yum.
Tomorrow hideous winds are forecast, but soon I will have a weather window approaching and plans are in place. Tricia returns on a flight from Hamilton tomorrow as well, so fingers crossed on a Monday departure for a few hours of paddling.
My smiles today:
Little Akoloa, your church, the amazing site and the unbelievable feeling I left with.
Hand/Head Stands, yes there were a couple of locations today.
Ian, so special and so much soul to this man, please say hi to your daughter Lily.
My continued amazing hosts, they will smile soon, their house guest will leave soon, I promise. Then it will be my turn soon to offer them accommodation in Cuzzie and in Auckland.
Kingie, hearing he is running up the Sky Tower for the Fireman's stair challenge, that is impressive stuff, in all the uniform.
My thoughts today:
Things and moments in your life always happen for a reason. I do not know sometimes why, but living day to day is special.
Enjoy your Saturday, where ever you are in the world, I surely have.