I fell in love with the West Coast on a family trip as a kid. Sullen photos in the family album might beg to differ 🙂 but it's so uncool hanging with family when you're 13. Ok so moody 13 year old lol. Coming back I can see why I did. Credit to my parents. Railings did not exist in places like Punakaiki. I was a nervous wreck just imagining us as kids running around the place.
Enroute, I spent a weekend in Duntroon with others living in a 'Kea' motorhome. Interesting observation. Automatically, everyone formed a horseshoe as a response to coming together as a community. The circle is timeless with a neutral shared space in the middle. Normally parking is done in rows like a carpark.
I confess to driving a bit fast on a self-imposed time limit and motivated by the borders opening soon and rising fuel costs.
Decision making can be hard enough at the best of times with no one to bounce ideas off. I'd ask my ancestors but they have a wicked sense of humor with a dash of sarcasm so I'm very careful what I ask for. Therefore, I frequently consult the magic 8 ball and get a second opinion from the coin 😁.
Poor Nala. On those occasions when she can't come with me I leave 2 fans going, bowl of water, vents open, a cooling pad and something to chew. Imagine if I loved her.
Highlights. Guided tour in the Limestone Caves at Oparara. The guide started the tour by saying that all birds are Robins and all plants are Coprosma but then proceeded to name all the plants by their Mᾱori name, common name and Latin name including the whakapapa/genealogy. The challenge is to try to retain as much of that as I can or at least exceed 10% retention. Magical.
Watching approximately 100 blue penguins coming ashore in Oamaru. No photos permitted so as not to disturb their natural behaviours.
Some words to ponder that were shared with me. “I like walking along the edge of the waves because I feel like I'm walking in two worlds at the same time"
Revisited some childhood places thanks to the affordability of railway cottages and a time before they were tourism hot spots. On a walk up Conical Hill in Hanmer I gratefully accepted a stick from the barrel gifted by the Men's Shed. I passed lots of local people on their phone up and down the hill. I wanted to play Rafiki from the Lion King but I resisted 😁.
The friends and people I have met.
Seeing the conservation efforts being made to preserve the indigenous flora and fauna.
Ended my journey with whanau. Spent a few days offline in Kaikoura by the coast in a remote spot.
The path to the beach was twisted and bumpy and overgrown with grass. After a night of rain Mum said it would be too wet and challenging. I accepted that but without a word my brother was seen clearing the track of the grass (not natives).
Parked up at Waiharekeke/Blenheim racecourse. I once got paid to get the race results from the two commentators in the grandstand after each horse race where I then biked like crazy through the golf course and across town to deliver to the post office so it could be wired out to all the TABs. IM NOT THAT OLD.
I went to cut through the same golf course but didn't fancy dodging abuse or balls. Saw a couple heading towards me wheeling golf bags. They kindly escorted me across the green in exchange for my riveting conversation 😁😁😇.
After two and a half months I returned home to Te Ika a Mᾱui/North Island. Ironically, a week after I return there is a meeting of motorhomes in the suburb I left in Dec
Nala and I no longer collect rocks. Instead grains of potential rocks... sand I mean sand.