Day 320..."Hi" and "Goodbye" Yet Again

I was warm and cosy after the soak in the hot pools last night, then I crawled into the most comfortable bed I have slept in for a very long time. It was totally bliss! Did I sleep in late? No, but I did seriously try to think of a way to fit the bed and mattress into Cuzzie for the rest of the trip; a totally impossible dream.

Once awake, up and about, I drank coffee and chatted with Andy and Sue, the two wonderful people we were staying with. Yet again, it proved to be a ridiculously small world, Sue and I knowing many of the same people through our previous jobs. Then I headed outside with Jase and Andy to do some repair and maintenance on Louise (my star kayak), to tell some as yet untold stories, to do a tidy up of Cuzzie and, generally, to get my mind and my stuff ready in order to head off. Away from the lake with its white caps, back to the coast, the waves and the ocean, taking Martin and Anna with me.

As always, time goes much too fast on the days you have to leave and, far too soon, it was time for hugs and “Goodbyes” from me to Andy, Sue and Jase. The drive back to Tangimoana today was absolutely lovely with the sun being out, the mountains covered in snow and the Desert Road pretty spectacular, with snow in and around all the tussock grasses. We even saw some people having fun playing in the snow at the roadside! Now I’m parked back on the beach where I landed on the West Coast and, once again, it’s time for the waiting and watching game. We’re all tucked up and warm. Cuzzie and her heater are just magic. Martin and Anna sit reading and writing while, as usual, I sit listening to the wind gusts and the ocean, wondering.

Today was Suicide Awareness day, so I stopped for a while to spare a quiet thought for all the families who have to keep on living each day after a loved one has taken their life, a never-ending nightmare for all concerned. I can only hope that more openness and awareness around the subject can be achieved. A big day emotionally for me today, having to say “Hi!” and “Goodbye!” yet again. Huge thanks to all the wonderful people for their donations following my appeal for financial assistance the other day. As ever, I’m humbled by your help and support. Also a very big “thank-you” for all the e-mails and phone calls I’ve received today. My push-ups are done for today and, with a little bit of luck, I reckon I may be able to get off my knees real soon!!

My smiles today:
Anna loving the New Zealand scenery and the cute lambs.
The beautiful, picturesque day.
Genuine, wonderful, real people.
Heidi, Tyra and Bennie (three cats with total attitude).
Hearing from visitors to this country how beautiful they think New Zealand is. It's good to be reminded sometimes what an amazing country we are lucky enough to live in.

My thoughts today:
Remember that today is the tomorrow that you worried about yesterday!!

Goodnight from Red, Martin and Anna. Ma Te Wa.

The Star Team. Eat, Sleep, Paddle, Repeat.

The Star Team. Eat, Sleep, Paddle, Repeat.

A sunset worth looking at.

A sunset worth looking at.