DAY 261...Storms and Cups of Tea

Strangely enough, as I woke this morning, my mood seemed to be way more alive. I was happy to be up and completing things on my list of things to do while still in the cottage. Then the wind really started to blow in this part of the country, even though I’m more than slightly bemused by the fact that it’s warmer here than it was a few days ago. At the same time, it seems weird that it should be colder further north than it actually is here.

I got myself up and spent time looking out for stuff I might need just in case, if out of the blue, I received a call to return to the cray-fishing boat. But given the weather forecast, that doesn’t seem realistic, maybe in a week or two but surely not now. In the meantime, I need to head into town to grab some stuff. As luck would have it, Joyce was actually heading that way, so I jumped at the chance of not having to drive in Cuzzie up and over the hills in these winds. 

While I was waiting for Joyce to arrive, I headed over to say “Hi!” to my little mate, the ginger Burmese cat, and ate my breakfast on the step while patting him. Then we were off into Nelson, with a few stop-offs along the way. In every single place we stopped, there seemed to be another story to listen to, a new group of lovely people to meet and a warm welcome from a wonderful community with cups of tea and some delicious home baking (banana loaf, cupcakes, choc chip cookies and muffins). In Nelson I headed out for a walk in the rain in my jandals. Even though it’s winter, it’s actually still not that cold. Or perhaps I’ve just got tougher, having been in the south for so long! Into the supermarket. Around the edges I go for meat and veggies. Then with my supplies purchased, I fast-walk back to meet up for a ride home on a very stormy, wet, wild and windy night. Probably much the same as most of New Zealand is dealing with at the moment.

Today I’ve been fortunate enough to have heard many stories, to have shared many unforgettable moments in people's lives and once again, I’m glad my journey has been halted for a while, so I can stop and share, lend a hand and make new friends. It’s not just a paddling story I have to share but an incredible life adventure with real, wonderful people, with whom I’m so lucky to be able to spend time. Thanks to everybody today, I have really enjoyed my day. This storm is enabling me to see a part of New Zealand that most people probably miss as they race by to see the tourist spots, whereas I am lucky enough to be able to slow down and see all the back roads as well.

Home now and happy, despite the raging storm.

My smiles today:
All the lovely people.
All the amazing stories.
Experiencing the real New Zealand that everyone should be able to discover.
Cups of tea and delicious home baking.
Listening to others. My goodness, do they have lots to tell!
My hosts, the Wyllie's.

My thoughts today:
One of the best feelings in the world is knowing that someone is happy because of you.

Goodnight from Red. Ma Te Wa.

Stormy. YES!

Art work.

Art work.