DAY 346...Successful Circle

Thursday 6 October 2016

Such a peaceful spot we had last night, tucked inside the harbour away from the waves and the wind and only birds for company, nobody else. I found this morning rather eerie as it was strangely calm. We had rain last night, but not as much as we had been expecting. The rest arrived just as I planned to go out for a walk, together with thunder, lightning and a heavy hail storm which lasted on and off for most of the morning. By the time we got ready to go on a road trip, there were large pools under the wheels of Cuzzie. I thought for sure we would be stuck but somehow we managed to drive without any problems.

My main mission today was to locate the owner of the land just past Albatross Point in order to gain permission to land there when I eventually get back on the water so, off we went, along all the beautiful back roads. We had classic spring weather, a mixture of sunshine and heavy rain. We were both continually delighted by the rolling countryside Anna describes as being “hills and valleys that all look as if they are covered in soft green carpet". Hillsides covered in pine trees always make Anna want to hang up her hammock and just lie there, reading a book.

But I am on a mission, so we weave our way towards the end of the road where we locate a local or two at a nearby store. I have to smile while I wait, watching a group of kids select some lollies from the counter cabinet, so typical "Can I have five blue ones, four red ones and what can I get with the other ten cents?” This happened with each of the five kids lined up in front of me at the counter. The poor store owner but it is the school holidays, after all! Then, when it came to my turn, I wasn’t there to buy anything at all but rather to have a chat in order to find out about beach and farm access. Before you know it, we’ve been given the names of some contacts together with their phone numbers. A very good result and proof positive that meeting and chatting with people face to face usually works far better than sending an impersonal e-mail, and that the locals are always the best source of information.

Everything seems to be going well and actually, the rest of the day continues much the same way with waterfalls, caves and beautiful stone bridges along the way. We walk on some great little tracks, even if they are lovely wet ones! Each time the sun comes out, it transforms the bush into a beautiful shade of green. I comment to Anna that most of our hikes have been in rain and that it always seems to be wet underfoot but we laugh at the thought and at least we have no more downpours while we are tramping today. We stop for lunch at Marokopa Waterfalls. Anna has a PB&J (peanut butter and jam) sandwich but I just have a milk-shake because, weird but true, my stomach is still upset from the weekend.

We have driven a huge, back-country circuit today and again, it’s been far nicer than being on or near the main roads. We did venture near Waitomo but, what with the battery of tour buses and an overflowing, chaotic car park, the prospect of a visit to the caves with all those milling crowds didn’t appeal to us at all. Instead we completed the circle and headed back to our quiet little campsite in Kawhia. I chatted to Grant, the campsite owner, for a while. Not only receiving lots of beach and coastline information, but also discovering we have mutual friends. New Zealand is such a small country!

Then, my stomach started rumbling loudly, so Anna and I started cooking dinner, got the heater going and began thinking about tomorrow. Grant has planted a seed in my mind as to which roads to take next, to get to some other as yet undiscovered beaches and coastline, especially as one of my mottos is “why not?”, nothing ventured, nothing gained! It’s been an enjoyable, wonderful, successful day, meeting some lovely locals and getting some great results while still waiting for Mother Nature to let me get underway on the water again. Gosh, love it or loathe it, I can’t help but wonder at her control over me!

My smiles today:
Winding country roads.
Primo sights today.
Wonderful locals, thank you all for your advice and for sharing your contacts.
Kids in the local store buying lollies. Brings back memories!
Waterfalls churning out muddy rain water.
Our beautiful, green-carpeted paddocks.
So close and, yet, still so far away from my home.

My thoughts today:
“Sometimes you have to sit on the edge, not knowing what tomorrow will bring or where it will take you, but knowing that what you did yesterday will surely set you off in the right direction. Trust that the decisions you make each and every day will provide the future you want.” - Alex Gillespie (Thanks).

Goodnight from Red and Anna.

Ma Te Wa.

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Mangapohue Natural Bridge.

Mangapohue Natural Bridge.

Marokopa Falls.

Marokopa Falls.

Red at the entrance of Piripiri Cave.

Red at the entrance of Piripiri Cave.