Day 285...Sunny Saturday

This morning I am very happy to see clear blue skies, snow on every mountain range and what Iooks like a nice start to my day. Jason arrived down late last night for the weekend to check out the winter and the snow. Good to see him and laugh at the Southland beard he is growing!! According to him, the beard is staying until I have completed the South Island. Well, originally, it was meant to take me a little less time.

Today, we had breakfast in the sunshine and then headed towards the Takaka Hills to check out the stunning views, the snow and also the Takaka market. There was plenty to share and show today. As you all know, I have been in and around this area for quite a wee while now, so today was about checking out the lie of the land further south and to chat some more with locals, absorbing their knowledge of the rivers, the inlet and the coastline. We did lots of driving and, as we weaved along the gravel roads, rattling over the metal cattle stops, I became the official farm gate opener! We stopped off at different places along the Wanganui Inlet, also at Patarau and Anatori Rivers, where we watched the river waters running out into the ocean. We also watched the waves foaming along the coast and discussed in depth the ocean on the West Coast.

We had to dodge cows wandering along the roads. We are both still mesmerised by the rock formations on the huge cliffs and if we could have stopped more often, we would have done so but the roads are narrow and winding. Not great to have Cuzzie stopped in the middle of the road! As normal, the day is slipping away from us and we watch one of the best and most colourful sunsets yet as we drive to the farm cottage. One of those sunsets that, as you watched, it got better and better by the minute. A quick drive past the sheep yards and we see everyone still hard at work shearing. They, too, have been waiting for fine weather and are busy working late tonight.

We head to the main house for a catch up and quick chat before getting the fire blazing in the cottage and my favourite dinner on the go. Steak and roasted veggies. Hobo is with us and he has found a new friend. Jason is a cat magnet, so I’m now being totally ignored. Oh well, let’s face it, cats are like that!!

My smiles today:
Jason is back in town.
Takaka’s small markets.
Sunshine on the snow caps.
A beautiful South Island day.

My thoughts today:
Happiness is a sunny day.

It seems that it’s going to be a really cold night for all of us tonight, so wrap up warm.
Goodnight from Red, Jase and Hobo. Ma Te Wa.

Best sunset at low tide.

Best sunset at low tide.

Icing sugar covered hills.

Icing sugar covered hills.