DAY 240...Inspiration From Others

It rained last night and, yippee, no roof leaks from Cuzzie. At present, with the help of Jase, we seem to have fixed that tiresome matter. I’m in my fabulous rain jacket that is so warm and toastie, with total protection against the wind and the rain. Before hitting the beach, I had a cup of coffee and a warm pot awaits my return. I walk until I can go no further, then turn into the wind and the rain. Each time I walk this beach, it seems that I discover something new and even a little bit quirkier. Today as the morning awoke, there was a huge, black boat buoy on the beach. Even more weird was the fact that it had gone by the time I passed by on my return. Someone must have nabbed it!!

As the day got lighter, I found another driftwood stack in the making. In fact, I very nearly walked right into it! I’m intrigued. Who starts them and then, who adds to them? Is it just anyone who happens to walk by? Or is it done only by the locals? I never actually see anyone building them, so now I’m even more intrigued. Then I discover a staircase up from the beach that has again been crafted from driftwood. All the bits and pieces that have been washed up on the shore have been created into a kind of crazy person standing at the top of the handrail, with eyes made from milk bottle tops, and earrings from fishing lures. The more I look, the more I smile. Wow! There are some really clever and creative people out there! Art created from other people’s junk! Way better than anything I could ever conceive (see the pics below)!

The weather has been as predicted (YUK!). At the end of my really long walk, I had to do some sprints along the beach. I like to feel the sand under my feet. I like to feel my heart racing and having to suck the oxygen deep into my lungs. It’s a great feeling and I have to say “thanks” to my physio for the brilliant twist to these sprint exercises. I’m getting ready for the marathon in February with Rob and Margaret-Ann. It’s a welcome thought to be looking ahead at new challenges, and it's somewhat refreshing. Though it doesn’t mean that I’m bored or not thinking about paddling but rather, it’s yet another thing to occupy my mind. Goal-setting, or something like that! Much in the same way as I keep thinking about Godzone in 2017!! Nuts, I know, but at least you can never say that I’m boring!! I chuckle to myself often, thinking of the rest-home I shall probably end up in!! I hope they’ll have a treadmill for oldies on zimmer-frames!! By that stage, I shall certainly need one.

Time to re-focus on my day. I have to be back over the Takaka Hills as I’m off to chat to a group from the Whenua iti Outdoors (Journey of Discovery; www.whenuaiti.org.nz). Now as Cuzzie and I drive towards the campus, I see a double rainbow through the mist, over Riwaka Resurgance. This is really special! I’m also feeling so motivated, being about to talk to others. Especially those who are just starting out in the working world; people looking for exciting careers about which they’re passionate; people feeling great about the outdoors and what it can provide both mentally and physically, and knowing the importance of being immersed in a fun environment.

I certainly wasn’t disappointed. The group was way cool and I managed to have a short Power-Point presentation ready for them (Nat you would have been so proud!). I just talked about my journey, and I think they found it interesting. Afterwards, they asked lots of questions! Please do keep in touch, all of you! I found you incredibly inspiring to be around and, as always, I’m humbled to be invited to help and to try to inspire you all. I find it amazing that you were all willing to sit and listen to this crazy lady and her ongoing adventures. Thanks. It was lovely to see you all smile, to see you laugh and just to be able to share with you. (Damn, I forgot to get a selfie with the group!) Dougal, thanks so much for the invite! If you ever you need me to come back again or join in on a course, I would totally love to return. A big “thanks” for the crispy, dried apple pieces (they rock!). Also the red wine for Red (that will be saved till the end of the journey).

Then it was in and around Motueka. I also have to say that everyone in each and every store I went into was so happy, friendly and a joy to chat with. I still needed a couple of things, so I had a quick peek into the Salvation Army shop and the Hospice shop, and grabbed a couple of cheap things for storage. Then it was back on the road to drive the hill before sunset. I’m in Golden Bay tonight, looking at going on a massive hike tomorrow to look and absorb, and hopefully, to stay as dry as possible! Dinner is on and I have “Songs of Waitaha” to read. It’s a beautiful book for which I have Ev to thank for the recommendation.

My smiles today:
The crazy stairway on the beach.
The double rainbow over the mist. Riwaka you are truly special!
Talking with younger people. The youth are the ones who will achieve way more than me one day, just wait and see.
The lovely people of Motueka, so open and friendly.
My “Eat, Sleep, Paddle, Repeat” on the T-shirt (it’s fast becoming everyone’s favourite mantra, thanks Andy!).

My thoughts today:
"Inspiring Individuals and Communities through Outdoor Experiences" - Thanks to Whenua iti Outdoors.

Until tomorrow, from a warm and comfy Cuzzie. It’s goodnight from Red. Ma Te Wa.

Art from junk and driftwood.

Art from junk and driftwood.

My driftwood shack.

My driftwood shack.