DAY 253...Up and Over the Hill

An alarm was set for this morning, not to check the weather reports, but to get up and on with this day of mine, as there was a big drive planned with stops along the way, because we (the Redz NZ team) were off to Nelson! Once up, I made coffee, stoked the fire and pulled down all my (now dry) washing from the hanging rack above it. Everything is warm and dry. Honestly why have a tumble dryer when these drying racks work perfectly well!! Even though my bras and knickers are out in the open for all to see. We walked up the farm hill to the main house, said a quick “good morning”, dropped off some scraps for the pigs and then jumped into Cuzzie to get on the road.

First stop was Collingwood to do a drop-off, then into Takaka to grab a coffee from Wholemeal, a great little café that had been recommended to me (and we certainly weren’t disappointed). Back we jumped into Cuzzie, with hot coffees in hand and Jase (of course) with a massive cinnamon scroll that, apparently, was delicious! Some days you’d think it was him that was doing the paddling!! Next stop was Nelson, to pick up some items from the courier and the Post Office. By that stage, my stomach was rumbling, so we had ourselves a treat in Nelson. A gorgeous friend of Jason’s had left a voucher at the River Café for us to spend on lunch, so a very big “thank you” to Anita, lunch was absolutely delicious! This is a great little café and we would recommend it to anyone visiting Nelson.

Now, I open the parcel I picked up and am blown away by a beautiful copy of a book I have been reading, personally-signed by the author, with some very magical and inspiring words. I am humbled by the handwritten note and passage he has written in the book. This is a true treasure so, carefully, I pop it back in its packaging. But Jase and I still have one more stop to do, so we call into visit some friends who loaned us tools and their garage to do the kayak upgrades and repairs. We drop off a gift of a crayfish to thank them for their wonderfully kind hearts. Then it’s off to what has become an all too well-known destination, Nelson Airport. No need for the support crew for at least seven days or more and Jase’s clients and his Physical Training business need him to return. Not for the first time do I look at this airport and hope that maybe, just maybe, this could be my last visit, but I am truly not getting my hopes up!

As we sit and wait, I start fidgeting. All day we have been blessed by sunshine, blue skies and no wind. I’m shocking at not being able to accept the weather forecast but, as Jase leaves, he reminds me to write down what is happening with the weather each day, stating the reasons why I’m not paddling (the wind, the swells, the directions) and then he instructs me to write down my perfect paddling requirements for the next section, as well as an A B C plan. I agree to do what he says, accepting that I’m being an insane redhead and promising to follow this simple routine each and every day. Then we say our “goodbyes” and I head for the car park and Cuzzie, to return to my solo lifestyle.

Leaving Nelson behind, I drive back over the Takaka Hills and then along the gravel roads to Kaihoka Lakes. Thankfully, I’m back at the farm before dark with the fire lit and dinner cooked. Tomorrow I’ll be out and about, starting with an early morning walk to the beach before breakfast, hoping to get on the Westhaven Inlet for a paddle at high tide, and then off to a Matariki school event. I’m excited. Many grateful thanks to the Wyllie family, both for the invite and for the use of your house.

My smiles today:
The farm pigs coming to say “hi”!
My insane weather-watching.
The farm fireplace and the comfortable old recliner chairs beside it.
The River Café lunch.
The Takaka Hills, the views today were quite incredible.
My beautiful book. Thanks Ev. Thanks Barry.
And thanks, Gus, for your call of support today. Happy memories of Barns Beach.

My thoughts today:
“Too many people use being scared as an excuse for not trying. Sure, you may fail. But try anyway. That’s how you grow; that's how you do incredible things."

And that’s it for now. Ma Te Wa.

Westhaven Inlet.

Westhaven Inlet.

Our Mates.

Our Mates.