DAY 273...Calmer, or Just Wishful Thinking?

The night was stormy with thunder and lightning, more heavy rain and crazy winds. There was a power cut during the night (not that I noticed it until I got up for my awake time and had to sit and read with my head torch!). I’m like some crazy old owl at the moment, with my nightly awake times. The morning was a lot calmer, with only twenty knot winds today, so no sand storms across the farm. But we had heavy rain showers on and off for a while which gave me an excuse to stay by the fire for a little longer, reading a new book ("The Street Cat Named Bob") borrowed from Mary. I actually had to make myself put it down in order to get my morning underway.

It was a lovely clear day and no way was I going to sit inside. Instead, I loaded up my back pack and drove to the start of the Kaituna Track. It was about five kilometres to the river crossing (no bridge!) and after yesterday’s rain, I knew it probably wouldn’t be an ideal day to try and cross it. But the track leading up to the crossing was great. It formed part of an old gold-mining track and, if I hadn’t turned back, the entire track would have been seventeen kilometres up to Knuckle Hill and then down the other side to Westhaven Inlet. Tomorrow I plan to do the reverse section. This hike and track took me among Nikau palms, pungas and very lush native bush. There were branches and leaves blown everywhere after the storms of the last couple of days, but in no way did it detract from the overall beauty of this cool little hike. All the time I was walking, I could see or hear the Kaituna River following over the rocks below or right next to me. A couple of times I stopped in sheer amazement at the size of the trees, the trunks of which were so big they were like the base of a large lighthouse (in other words, simply HUGE!).

As I crossed streams and little creeks, I smiled to myself, watching the sparkling droplets of water cascade down the moss and lichen-covered rock walls. I only wish I could transport these amazing natural gardens to my place; the sights, the sounds, the bird-life, the sheer tranquility, and the incredibly perfect landscaping. Somehow, I always feel a sense of oneness and happiness when in the bush, being so close to the rivers, listening to the bird-life and the water. I could literally spend hours in this environment and today only wished that I had brought a thermos of hot tea, so I could just have sat and absorbed it all a little while longer. As I said earlier, I didn’t even attempt to combat the fast waters by crossing this river today. Instead, listening to my inner self, I turned and headed back. Even so, it was an absolutely beautiful walk. If ever you come this way, make sure you stop at the Lazy Possum Cafe, sadly it was closed today but it looks like a great little place!

I drove back and sat looking out at the inlet, ever hopeful of snatching a couple of hours paddling!! Who do I think I am I kidding!! In my head, it did seem a little calmer today but then, after yesterday anything would do! But, to be honest, the inlet was a crazy mess of water, waves and huge gusts of wind today. Instead, I jumped at the chance to finish my book in the sunshine, brew up another pot of soup, say “Hi!” to everyone on the farm, and wish “Happy Birthday!” to Malcolm. (Just in case you’re wondering, Pip and Malcolm live in the cottage above mine!) Then I returned to check the weather for the next ten days!! A clear, calm day tomorrow, it would seem. But, as you have already probably guessed, no way in a million, trillion years, will the swells have dropped sufficiently to enable me to paddle! Yesterday, they were up to seven metres high. Today four metre high waves are forecast and tomorrow, they may only be three point five metre ones but, sorry to say given that prognosis, I’m really not all that crazy to paddle. Today, someone jested with me, suggesting I harden up. As you might imagine, I smiled quietly to myself, Nile River and Charleston springing to mind.

My smiles today:
A beautiful hike and great fun on a reasonably easy track.
The thought of Knuckle Hill tomorrow, unless of course, I decide to harden up!! 
Walking alone, listening to the river water, the bird-life and the wind in the tree tops.
Thinking that today’s winds felt relatively calm.
Reading a book in one day.
More homemade soup.
Bringing in the house cow for milking.
A dead rat, drowned in a bucket of milk! Now that is a funny story!
Jeanette, thanks for the quote today.

My thoughts today:
Make a little time to be quiet by yourself everyday and just be.

Goodnight from Red. Ma Te Wa.

Huge Tree.