Day 249...Almost. But Not Quite.

This morning. I'm really not sure what to say, it’s calmer but (as with any beach) there are good times to leave and bad times to leave, depending on the tides. My beach, she calmed. We counted the sets as we waited, and by the time we had decided that “yep, it can be done!”, it was already too late in the day. You have to laugh or cry. Sorry to disappoint, but this is not a section of coastline I want to paddle at night.

Another stream of tears of pure frustration but, then I changed. At last I have seen this beach actually show me it can be calm and I can actually get out. But of course, it was after 1pm today and way too late in the day to paddle. Of course there was also a chance, late at sunset tonight, where we saw space and gaps to depart onto the ocean. I feel there is light at the end of a dark turbulent sea. It might not be this time, but it is going to happen soon.

Anyway, stop tormenting yourself, take your time and go walking, find a hike track and ignore the rest of the stuff. Firstly, we attempted to drive Cuzzie up a very dodgy dirt track to Oparara Basin walk. Well, I did sort of try and tell Jason there was no camper-van sign, and it was true, so after only 5kms, we turned back. We parked up and ate lunch where we were joined by two beautiful birds (South Island robins) both so cheeky and friendly. Jase tried to tempt them with some of his lunch to get them close enough for a picture; one even sat at the open window.

After a quick lunch, we went back along the dirt road as I was desperate to go walking, so we headed to the Fenian Caves loop walk. Shoes on and backpack loaded, off we went. It was a great hike. This walk consisted of three open access caves, one that is one hundred metres long which you have to walk and scramble through as part of the circuit. Up and down we went, where parts of this track were a little wet and muddy underfoot, but we had some fun. The native bush, the moss and lichen is amazing and extremely enchanting. I always say there are fairies and magic in these forests! We clamber and crawl in and out of the caves, slip and slide and get muddy, but experience two hours of real fun. Then it was back to the beach, to park up for the night and back to staring at the beach again, watching the waves, counting the wave sets and shaking our heads with much “sucking of teeth" (thanks to Paul Caffyn, I just love that saying!). We head back to Cuzzie, to Proper Potato Chips, to drink endless cups of tea, to check the weather and actually agree on tomorrow's limits.

I have to share with all those who read my crazy Blogs that, over the past few days, there have been some very emotional moments. From sheer frustration, from anxiety-building and then, out it comes. I'm not a happy smiling face all the time, I’m afraid. Not totally fearless, just human, like everyone else. Just bloody hoping that my determination, my pig-headed approach and all the hard work will pay off.

Tonight we rest up and I have to say thanks to my support person, Jase, for jumping on a plane within a few hours to be reassuring over these past few days. To have someone to bounce my ideas off and to throw in some sanity, most certainly helps. Gosh, Nat is so, so lucky to be away in the UK at the moment, no Red mental torture for her! I’m sure if any of the team had a magic wand and one wish, it would be to flatten the sea just for a day. To line up everything, so we could move forward. Please, please, Mother Nature, make it a perfect day for once. The swell, the winds, the tides, and please, make it in daylight!!

My smiles today:
Crazy sea foam.
A glimmer of an escape.
Caving, it was fun.
The locals and their coastal knowledge.
A beautiful, cold, clear day on the West Coast.
The robins.
The crazy wekas.
My camper-van, she is my sanity.

My thoughts today:
Never give up and never lose faith, it allows you to cope. Trying times will pass, as they always do. Just have patience, your dreams will come true. Put a smile on your face and live through your pain, know it will pass and know the strength you will gain.

From Red and Jase. Ma Te Wa.

Well deserved rest after some caving.

Well deserved rest after some caving.

Night night from Red.

Night night from Red.