I’m sitting reading in the warmth of Cuzzie. It’s still dark outside, so I give myself an hour to read my beautiful book. I absorb some of what I’m reading, then stop and re-read certain sections again. I’m drinking coffee and reckon I’m the only one in the entire campsite. I recommend touring in the winter time, there's no fully-booked camp-sites, that’s for sure!
I hit the beach and put on my watch. Only a short walk today, as I have other things planned. Further along the beach, I stop and take pictures of the trail of opened shells from the seabirds; it goes as far as I can see. Really hard to explain, but I find it rather amusing. There are at least fifty birds on the beach, all chatting away and racing around to get their food for the day. I still don’t need any more shellfish so they don’t need to share today. What else is there on the beach? Would you believe it, the carcass of a dead cow? Not a pretty sight. There was no hair left on the carcass, and it was starting to smell as well. Poor animal, and poor people whose job it’ll be to remove the dead cow!!
Back at Cuzzie, I load up everything, say a “thank you” to the campsite team and then head off to the Rawhiti Caves. A nice walk along the dry river, then a really muddy, steep hill climb to the cave entrance. It’s worth it! The sights were incredible, although my all-weather terrain crocs did get a little muddy. I did slip and land on my butt, but it’s been a while since that last happened. I just had to put up with a very muddy and wet butt for the return trip.
Back in Cuzzie, I drive into Takaka to grab a lotto ticket! If the winning ticket is sold from this little town, maybe I’m the winner! Then over the hill, heading to Nelson. The support crew have been re-called and I’ m picking up Jase from the airport. It's madness really, because we haven't waited for the weather report to roll, but I felt I had to do something to be pro-active. If the weather turns over and goes pear-shaped (bad for paddling north) then I’ll have to stop battling for another day or so. I suppose we could always go hiking!!
During my stay in Golden Bay, I’ve made some really great friends. Now, I have new friends out on the water. I thank all the locals for their knowledge and kindness. But I might be back sooner than you all think. On the road now, heading over more hills. Jase has mist and low cloud to contend with.
My smiles today:
The slippery mud on the hills.
My dearest Jase.
The caves. Absolutely amazing.
My ever-changing mood.
My thoughts today:
Change is scary and often uncomfortable but life begins outside our comfort zone, so learn to embrace it and get used to it!
Until tomorrow from Red, Jase and the team. Ma te Wa.