Today has been a day of chasing around, getting info from people, restocking, cleaning, chatting to locals and getting back up to speed with this next epic section of my journey. The east coast has had it's challenges but also there have been so many great times and memories. I have learnt and grown along this coast, both mentally and physically.
We were up early and walked down to the beach, firstly to see if my fellow paddlers from yesterday may have made it in late in the evening and had decided to sleep in their tents on the beach and secondly to feel the wind and watch the sun come up. Today it was trying to rain and also blow T2 & Louise off the top of our campervan, she was rather rough out on the ocean and I hoped Kristine and John were safe and warm in their tents on a beach further down the coast. (Later I did txt them and got a reply to say all was well, I am sure I will paddle with them again up the west coast some where, until then all the best from Red & T2, see you on the water.)
Jase was happy to be able to have a sleep in till about 7.30am when my fidgeting and rustling about sitting there eating the remaining popcorn with honey, coconut oil and salt for a pre breakfast snack woke him up! Then we were up for long hot showers and a ride into Invercargill to see a number of people with info and contacts for this next section of my paddle.
The Zookeeper Cafe, thanks for all of your friendly help and contacts and your great morning humour! I will be back for another few breakfasts before I depart and maybe the cool parrot can become our next camper van mascot. While we were having coffee I chatted with Dave from the Otago newspaper about my journey so far, and about his tramping, the outdoors and the South land area. Link to article here. Then Jase and I headed off with time to grab some stuff from the bookstore, a fishing shop and replaced another Lifeproof Case! It seems as though they are only life proof in name, I am blaming the product, in use for less than ten days and it has a crack!
I then went to see an ex work colleague (now I feel old as when I worked with Steph Marsh she was 16!) that is from another one of my lives, it scares me to look back that far. We chatted over a coffee and then I had to dash back to Bluff and see more contacts. Now I had actually got this far I pinched myself to make sure, I was in BLUFF, wow!
Things done back in Buff I wandered a little, back at Lands End in the sun and the wind looking over at Stewart Island and then looking right towards the west coast. I just stood for a while and took some deep breaths and then held onto my Pounamu for a few moments to feel it's warmth and spirit. I quietly said thank you to all of my very close team on this journey with me and in Auckland. They are the ones who have helped me get to Buff, they are the rockstars. Me, I am just the paddler and we still have one heck of a journey to go.
The sunshine was hot and we still had lots of stuff to get done, back we headed to Invercargill. I met up with Tim Holland, it was an absolute joy to chat with you today, I will see you later in the week, we need to chat more. Then it was Cuzzie's turn, we sped to give her a massive clean and wash, so many dusty roads since we left Christchurch. She is smiling again now, support crew Jase was a demon at the car wash today. Pak n Save next, cupboards are restocked and we are happy campers again. More planning tomorrow and a support crew change over. Nat is (finally) returning and Jase is heading back to his real job in Auckland. A bit of a crazy driving day tomorrow as flights are booked in and out of Dunedin. Me and my superstitious self did not want to book flights for Invercargill as felt it could jinx me getting there in time!
Anyway best I go, I have chocolate coconut ice cream to calling my name, bags to pack and a good nights sleep needed.
My smiles today:
Just actually daring to lift my head today and saying, Wow... Bluff.... Wow.
Me sitting crossed legged in Cuzzie munching on homemade popcorn at 7.30am. I reckon I can turn this into a healthy brekkie option, some yoghurt and fresh fruit and it would be like Honey Puffs!
For the lovely awesome comments I received for getting to Bluff, thank you it is lovely.
For all the wonderful helpful people today, I smile.
My thoughts today:
There is no harm in asking for help.
Smiling at you all from Invercargill, Red, Jase & Cuzzie.