DAY 347...Side-road Heaven

Friday 7 October 2016

The storm hit with a hiss and a roar. With thunder and lightning, heavy rain, and strong winds. Then it left us alone. We had rain but no more thunder or lighting. I was awake early so today I headed out onto the beach and spent a great hour running and walking up the beach at low tide. No wind as the harbour was protected today. No-one else on the beach at all, and a great feeling of "gosh it is going to be a great day". I got rained on but not too much. It saved the heavy downpour until I just managed to get back under cover. How lucky was that?

I spent lots of time chatting to Grant who owns the campsite about kayaking, greenland paddling, and general kayaking stuff. Anna was able to chat to home for awhile also (thanks so much for the use of the wi-fi). Grant also is a wealth of knowledge of where to go and what to see. We head off once Grant gives us and Cuzzie a tow. Like each camper-van this morning we too were stuck in the wet muddy grass. Then I took a deep breath and broke a rule I had in place and headed a little bit further north, along every gravel road we could find. 

It was magic. Water falls, amazing bush, the rolling green hills turning onto bush covered mountains, and then on the other side of the road cliffs dropping down towards the foaming huge ocean covered in huge swells. (Don't look that way!) We stopped and took a hike to the Bridal Falls. Then we ate lunch and we stopped and tried hard to get up close to the lambs in a paddock. Then the winding gravel road again, meeting the tar-sealed town one, and we were back in civilization. Not so keen on that but we needed top ups of many things. The cupboards have lots of tuna for me and some bread and jam for Anna but not much else.

Another nice end to the week is that we have a return visitor for a day or so. Jase has arrived to visit and it is always nice to see his smiling happy face. We had sent him the shopping list so he arrived with all the supplies. What can I say about today? It has been another truly great adventure day. It confirms in my mind that everyone has to get off the main roads and go see the real NZ and not just the so called tourist spots. A tour that is off the beaten tracks every time is a fun day. Even Cuzzie seems to enjoy being covered in mud.

But back in civilization I stare at the waves hammering into shore and wonder if they will calm down, and also pinching myself that I have three days of paddling yet to get to this town. Maybe by the end of this month, or maybe this is the month that keeps me on dry land! Anyway, enjoying the moment, the day, and making sure I keep reminding myself of how lucky I am to be this kayaking gypsy seeing the country like very few others.

My smiles today:
The back roads of NZ.
Anna still in love with lambs.
Grant, he has to be in my top 5 of the best campsite owners.
So much rain making every waterfall incredible.
Mud between my toes, you just have to laugh.
Kettle fried chips.

My thoughts today:
"How long will you chase your dreams and what will YOU do when the world rejects you?" - Kevin Hart

Until tomorrow, from Red, Anna and Jase.

Ma Te Wa.

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West Coast driving.

West Coast driving.

Side view of Bridal Veil Falls.

Side view of Bridal Veil Falls.