Day 256...Wind, Wind and More Wind

A warm fire, a bottomless cup of coffee and a few chapters of a beautiful book to read before sunrise. Then I sort of got motivated, not enough to walk to the beach this morning, but enough to chop some kindling to restock the firewood bins, to grab my gear from this large cottage and relocate myself into a smaller cottage on the farm. As others were coming to stay for the weekend, I needed to move out. The chickens came to say ”hi” at the back doorstep. Given the slightest chance, they would try to dart in the back door, probably because I had stashed a bag of food scraps just inside the door, and they were sure it was for them to feast on, not for the pigs up the hill!

I drove a few hundred metres down the track, unloaded my overnight gear into the new little cottage, got excited when I saw the open fire and then returned to Cuzzie. The ground I had parked on had been a bit too soft and the back wheels had started to spin, but no panic. I got out the trusty orange plastic ramp thingies that we had kept for just such situations and, within minutes, we were on the move again. Yay for this great invention, a “must have”  item in any camper-van!

Back to have a shower and then, to drop into the shearing shed for morning tea. There are more than seven hundred sheep for the team to shear today. Then I head off into Takaka to chat with Sage from Fresh FM radio about my paddling journey, about depression in general and its effects on everyone involved. The drive today was somewhat hair-raising as huge winds were buffeting Cuzzie about and I was having to hold onto the steering wheel with both hands. Nevertheless, we arrived safely in Takaka, took food supplies on board, then went in to chat with Sage. It was a great little interview that will be on the air next week (I’ll keep you all posted).

Back to the farm I head. Only briefly I thought about going for a run on the hill, then detoured to see some caves, but managed to miss the turn-off and failed to locate them. Oh well, perhaps some other day. But in the end, I was keen just to get off the road safely, to stop driving in this crazy wind and get my fire going. I stopped at the inlet to see if there was any shelter at all for a possible paddle. As I stepped out of Cuzzie, the door nearly got ripped off by the wind, so that answered my question! Back past the shearing shed, just in time for smoko. We chatted over a cup of tea, then I was off into my cottage to light the fire, get my dinner underway and enjoy a quiet evening. Well, sort of quiet, as I do my normal torment of checking the weather, and that sends my mind off on a slightly manic obsessive track. Hmmm, the weather!! Some days it’s not that simple. Calmer from where you leave and rougher where you wish to go; and so the mental anguish continues. Another fire, another day, and another chance to meet new and wonderful strangers.

My smiles today:
How strong can a wind possibly get?
Open fires are definitely the best.
A cute farm cottage. Thank you.
A moment of "bugger, Cuzzie is stuck!"
Takaka. Such a great little town!
Thanks Sage, for allowing me to come in and chat.

My thoughts today:
You can't undo past mistakes. Always look forwards, not backwards.
Look around, and you’ll realise that you’re still here, stronger and wiser. You made it through!

Good night from Red. Ma Te Wa.

Gotta love open fires.

Gotta love open fires.

My mates the chickens.

My mates the chickens.