Wednesday 13th April.
Last night it was predicted to be cold so I had my hottie reheated before I went to sleep, the hood of me sleeping bag cocoon around my head. I slept and slept till the sunshine rose above the hills, I think it was nearly 0 degrees over night, but despite a cold nose I was fine. I got up and went for my morning wander scrubbing my teeth as I ambled down this beach, the wind was cold but it was a bright blue sky and I felt good bout today. Who knows why as yesterday for awhile I lost my mojo for a few hours, yep, it happens. As the tide recessed the ocean still did not put any food items on the beach today and I was not going hunting, I was having a days break and would eat some of my food stores out of T2. I had been assured that Friday was still looking good to paddle. I was a little concerned it would change and then I would not have rationed my food for a ten day period, and start to starve!
As I walked along the beach I spotted a hunter on the banks higher up! I think he was as shocked as me, I wander up and we exchange hellos. "Where here have u come from?!" Then it clicked, George had seen me back before Bluff, paddling past him on a beach on Waitangi Day! He had thought it strange then but then had seen a local news article, but to see me again was quite a surprise! We laughed, chatted and he said the rest would not believe he had seen a crazy kayaking women on the beach, no stags, just me.
Then along comes another of the group Ian (George tells me they call him Father Christmas). Ian was the kitchen slave, I learnt more about them all later. Once he got over the shock of seeing me, we wandered back my way chatting and I showed them T2, my campsite and with a dinner invite extended they wandered back to their hut, I am sure with a story or two.
I was determined to sit outside all of today, there was sunshine and wind to keep the sandflies away. I had a new fire pit location sorted and my day has been brilliant. I was protected from most of the wind, my back mostly still turned from the ocean, my solar panel cranking and the fire working well. I cooked brekkie, a pot of coffee, licked my honey container, it has nearly run out and then set about flax plaiting! My old hairdressing skills are back I can now plait six or more strands of flax, it is not perfect, but oh my goodness it has been therapeutic to just be doing something creative with my hands. It turns out that the Maori families used to camp in this location as well, maybe it is why I have been drawn to weaving the last couple of days. Another 'it happens for a reason' moment I think.
Paddling still is looking good for Friday, my sights are set on Jacksons Bay and maybe a little further, not too far as I have made a promise to myself to stop there many weeks ago. It is easier with me if I don't keep moving my goal posts, I know it is only me promising me, but it is a brain game this paddle and this brain of mine needs treats sometimes. Set a goal, achieve, congratulate then aim further on to the next goal. If you are confused maybe ask me in person one day, I will try and explain.
Nat messaged to say she has been hiking up half a mountain, got that natural mountain goat in her. A few other msgs come in, one from a lovely man I know sharing some of his really special and personal experiences with depression, it made me feel a real purpose and I can not wait to catch up for a chance to laugh with him at my journey. An Auckland mentor (I kindly call master!) has approved of my next few days planning and has just said please stay focused right till the end of this section, you are not there just yet, such wise words. FOCUSED master, FOCUSED!
Off down the beach to dinner, it is windy as, the boulders all around my fly sheets, tent tied down. My hottie is heated and in my sleeping bag, my crafts are tucked away for the day.
The boys; Gus, George, Ian, Chris and John. The stories, the food, whitebait, pork, roast vegetables, the insane banter, the laughter, the warmest welcome to your slice of untouched paradise, what a secret and special location, what a story. This night has been an all time classic and I will surely return to share more hilarious nights. I hope everyone has taken their anti hangover medicine! You have got the best spot in NZ. It is one of my truly memorable times.
My smiles today:
Meeting more new totally amazing people on a very wind blown beach.
Flax weaving, it is cool.
A roaring fire all day, totally happiness.
A saucepan of coffee, dregs and all drunk!
Another day nearly over, another day closer to paddling.
Gus, George, Chris, Ian, John.
A roast pork dinner with the laughter into the wee hours of the morning.
SUCCESS breeds SUCCESS. Thanks Gus.