There is always a strange time for me when the support team leave and I return to just me, Cuzzie and my kayaks. It is weird, in fact it used to be okay seeing them off at the airport, as another used to arrive the same day. But now we wait until we can see the calm and ideal paddling days approaching. Then we tentatively book their flights, hoping always that we are not wasting their time and I actually get some paddling in. But until this happens I am on my own.
I spent the night at Evans Bay again last night and during the night realised I recognised a familiar sound. The wind had picked up and I could hear the kayaks rocking on top of Cuzzie. Prior to this night Wellington had not had any windy weather, which had been rather strange.
By 7am this morning I was up and wanting a hot coffee. Only to find no coffee was ground. It all got used up yesterday. Off to the supermarket to grab supplies and then I had a great long chat with Nat. She is home and due to start on work projects from tomorrow. The exciting news is that she is in Wellington next weekend, so we may just cross paths. It has been a long time since we saw each other and we have lots of stories to share.
Once I had grabbed coffee and a Sunday paper I drove and then parked up with the brow of the harbour. I made breakfast, drank my coffee and, for the first time on my entire journey, I sat and read a Sunday paper. It was weird. I watched numerous people walk and jog along Oriental Parade. It was a breezy but lovely sunny day and everybody was making the most of it. Soon I had to go walking as well, and I had a mission to get wet and do something physical. I went to Freyberg swimming pools. I needed to hear water, see bubbles and just lane swim. To me it is a way of debriefing but also thinking.
As I sit and get into my gear at the pools I chat to Jase for a while, then ease myself into the pool lane. At first the water is a little cool, but once you get underway and a few lengths completed, the water temperature is perfect. There are not many in each lane so I just cruised along. It has been a few months now since I have swum. I think it was when I was in Greymouth. The pool is just over 30 metres long and soon enough I am underway and enjoying my swimming. I am no Phelps in the pool, but today I happily swam my goal of 2km. Then it was time to get out, get dressed and walk some more in the sunshine.
I grabbed a quick snack, walked a few kilometres back to Cuzzie, then found a park to sit in and eat my late lunch. Sunshine, quiet time and pondering. I also started to actually try and absorb and re-think all the great and not so great moments of the South Island trip. Wondering how I could write up an overall review of the entire South Island journey. I did try to start, but nothing seemed to flow. I gave up on that and just decided to people watch, while also doing research on Google! I was trying to work out what is happening, or what is the error regarding my solar panel and its slow charging. Alas no luck, so it will be a trip to the RV team tomorrow.
Once it starts to cool down I drive to a new Freedom Camping location in Red Rock (Te Kopahou Reserve). It has a few memories for me as I drive past Owhiro Bay (the bay I paddled into one very early morning when arriving into Wellington, before heading to the South Island) then to Red Rock, a location Nat and I had spent time at (also before my Cook Strait crossing). Today Red Rock Reserve was not as windy, but sadly the car park was jammed with daytime visitors. I am hopeful it will calm down by the evening. Otherwise I reckon I will be moving.
Tomorrow it seems I better do an early morning walk out to the seal colony and Red Rocks. Then another swim. Sadly for me the addiction for the weather watching has started and the frown is appearing again on my forehead. I have plenty of small things still to get done before I hit the water again. It seems there is always lots of stuff to get completed. Collect sleeping bag, get solar panel controller checked, try to write and video my thoughts on the South Island journey. Now that is a tough request. I reckon I am happier to just be out discovering sights and places in Wellington.
Until tomorrow it is all about just sitting back and enjoying my stunning camper-van view. Thanks Wellington for providing this location. It is beautiful and as the camper-vans start arriving for the night, a new community on wheels is appearing. If you ever have the chance get out of the city into a camper-van and follow the coastline, checking out the views; this one is so close to the city, but I feel I am on the coast again. Somewhat more at home than at the marina city car-park. It would be nice to share this night with others. Oh well, maybe on my next adventure.
My smiles today:
A Sunday paper.
My campsite views.
Evening pink and blue skies.
I am in the North Island. I still have to pinch myself.
Renewed energy and spirit.
Having to trust and have faith.
My thoughts today:
Somehow everything will fall into place.
Until tomorrow. Goodnight from Red and Cuzzie.
Ma Te Wa.