Day 389...Driving Back South

Friday 18 November 2016

Pink skies and an eerie calm greeted me this morning as I got up and on with my day. Port Waikato beach looks pretty fantastic today; foaming white waves tumbling in from far out, set after set seeming to be coming from the horizon. I had a beautiful run today. I even discovered something in the sand that the wind had exposed: the remains of a dumped car wreck at the river mouth entrance.

This morning was to be my last Port Waikato beach run. It’s time for me to head away in Cuzzie to do a trip into Raglan and start to focus on the up-coming fine weather that’s meant to be blowing my way next week. I have a bit of a plan for my road trip but firstly it’s time for breakfast and then, as I get ready to go solo for a few days in Cuzzie, I stop to give Anouchka and Mark a huge hug. Yet again, I can only say “thank you” to both of them even though that doesn’t seem nearly enough; their hospitality has been amazing. Jeepers, I’ve been parked in their backyard for twelve days! But now it’s high time this gypsy kayaker evicted herself. With Mark’s guidance, I reverse out of their narrow gateway and say “goodbye” while promising to wave to them when I paddle past! Mark is threatening to do a low flyover with his drone as I go by and I promise to smile!

Back on the road I go and, at a junction just near Tuakau, I pull over and check a couple of things that are rattling about. But, as I get set to drive off, I notice a camper-van behind me and the people in it are waving and calling me over! Initially, I think I must have left something dangling off Cuzzie, but they wind down their windows to say they recognise the camper-van and the kayaks from when they had parked next to us in Monkey Bay in the South Island (my last port of civilisation before heading off into Fiordland). We stopped and chatted for ages about camper-van life then, as we both were heading for Raglan, we drove off in convoy for a while, until they found a spot to stop for coffee, and I continued on.

Raglan welcomed me back with blustery winds, but at least I had clear blue skies. After I’d grabbed some supplies, it was off to a new camping site to eat lunch in the sunshine and just enjoy the late afternoon until Jase arrived from Auckland to catch up with me and get out of the city rat race. Now, as the sun disappears and the air starts to get a real night chill, we wrap up warm and head out for a beach walk and, who knows, maybe we’ll end up in the town centre for a snack. I had a great feeling about today from the first moment I woke and that feeling has stayed with me all day; smiles from the inside!

My smiles today:
Anouchka and Mark, you guys rock!
Port Waikato, such a beautiful farewell.
The lovely camper-van community.
Jase driving south.
Mother Nature seems happy and smiling.
Lovely emails, Facebook messages and long mobile chats.

My thoughts today:
If you give up, it’s over. But if you don't, the day will come when you'll be glad you didn't give up.

Goodnight from Red, Jase, Cuzzie and Louise.

Ma Te Wa.


Morning sunrise. Monster surf.

Morning sunrise. Monster surf.

Sad end to a day on the beach.

Sad end to a day on the beach.