Early start this morning as we had to head to Nelson to get additional gear for Louise (my white kayak). We were up by 6.00am-ish and on the road by 7.00am-ish. Jase was mumbling a little about it being cold and he struggled to get out of bed until he could smell the coffee brewing in the kitchen. We packed up Cuzzie and were soon on the road from Kaihoka Lakes and heading up and over this winding road and the hills through Riwaka and Motueka, towards Nelson. There was frost on many of the lower-lying shaded farmlands and the other thing that I took a little while to get my head around, was the fact I could see the actual start of the sunrise. We were on the other side of the ranges and it was another beautiful sunrise. All the bright pinks, blues and orange hues and then daylight arrived.
The drive today was broken for a short while when we had to detour to Te Waikoropupu (known as by many as Pupu Springs) and we took a very brisk, fast walk in the morning light to look at the waters and the source of the springs. The last time I visited here was when I was twelve years old and we, as a family, were heading down to the Christchurch Commonwealth Games. That was in another lifetime! The history in and around the springs is truly impressive and I enjoyed reading the legends behind them. The entrance-way and the news boards were wonderfully informative; great to visit and see in the morning light. We were the only ones there at that time of morning. We raced each other back along the boardwalks, although this was really more just to keep warm and to see whose legs would carry them after the portage along the Heaphy Track.
We traveled approximately 160kms to Nelson today and then spent a lot of time grabbing a dry bag or two as the only ones that seem to be working are the Sea to Summit ones. Sadly, a couple of them haven’t lasted this journey and need replacing. The one that held my tent got a massive rip in it while I was in Fiordland and the gaffer tape holding it together is not waterproof, so better to replace it now before I have to set up a soaking wet tent in the future. Next was a visit to the chemist for some top-ups of medicine, antiseptic creams and potions. The ladies there laughed at us both in our jandals as they were all moaning about the cold weather. “It‘s not cold...honestly!!” we both said together. We then ducked in and out of Hunting & Fishing, Brunsco, The Dive Shop and Mitre 10 Mega. By 3.00pm I was really over this day of gear-grabbing and replacing. I had to sit and take a couple of deep breaths. I know we females are meant to like shopping but enough is enough. I just needed to go for a paddle but we still had more stuff to do. E-mails and calls had to be made. Then things started to feel a little better but, as Nelson is such a sunny, calm location, it eats me up that everywhere else must be the same and the weather-doubting issue starts to eat away at my mind. More to the point, I’m getting grumpy as I haven’t yet eaten or consumed enough fluids for the day!! Popcorn and a couple of cups of peppermint tea, that always seems to help.
We are staying in Nelson for the next few days as we are waiting for a couple of items to arrive from Auckland. I’m close enough to the water to get out and paddle for a couple of hours each day while I wait to nail the last few West Coast paddle days. I spend time each day agonising over the weather. But it is bound to clear up before too long!
I arrived on the South Island coast-line on the morning of 24th December 2015, and I am still trying to get back to my touchdown point. If it’s possible to smile and frown at the same time, then that is what I do when I think about this. I do know that in the time I have spent paddling this island I have surely come to admire, and am in total understanding of, how these clever people live; their communion with the seasons, their ability to get out there and do things, and the wonderful attitudes of these friendly people. Thanks guys. Maybe you are the reason I have taken so long. You have helped me see Aotearoa through a new set of eyes.
Campsite and Cuzzie are sorted. I have spent a little while sorting out a graze and rather deep cut on my shin (from a broken plastic handle on a large gear container). It had become infected and I was trying to ignore it. But support person Jase had started to nag and so I have now dealt with the infection!
Another day has been completed and my night has fallen. Let’s see what tomorrow brings us in sunny Nelson. I hope for some time on the water, to complete the refit of my kayak and then we will wait for the rain and storms to hit. Well, it’s winter after all, so I’ll take what’s thrown at me, try to get as prepared as possible and enjoy this special time, this incredible country and the v-e-r-y long adventure. I thank everyone for all their help so far. I owe so many people so much.
My smiles today:
Mister Rooster crowing on the farm this morning.
The cold, crisp morning with another amazing sunrise.
The beautiful ranges we had to drive over today.
Popcorn. The best snack food ever.
Just being able to be on this adventure. It makes me so incredibly happy.
Wearing jandals in June!
F-E-A-R can have two meanings - Forget Everything And Run or
Face Everything And Rise!
Goodnight from Red.