Day 313-315: Karamea, New Zealand

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Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » West Coast » Karamea
December 8th 2009
Published: December 8th 2009EDIT THIS ENTRY

Saturday, December 5th

We woke to another wet morning. After a shower and breakfast we posted a blog and found some plans for building a canoe, a kayak and a dingy. We’ve already got the tools and the plywood, so we decided to build our own canoe over the next month or so. It looks like a big-ish project, so we’ll just take it one step at a time.

We did some washing and read a bit. After lunch we headed into town to see Rick and drop off some stuff that Bruce had borrowed. We had a nice long chat then headed home.

We opened a bottle of wine (we’ve had enough of cheap, bad, box wine) and had some seriously blue cheese and chips while sitting at a picnic table near our van. We saw John had some wood to unload so we went over to help. Naturally, we got caught in conversation and by the time we got back to our wine, a Weka had stolen our bag of chips. After searching a bit, Talita spotted the bag lying in the bushes 50m away. When we looked closer we could see a trail of chips leading from the bench to the bushes. The bag still had most of the chips in, so no harm done.

When the bottle was nearing its end we filled our glasses with the last of the wine and took a walk out to the estuary. The tide was so low that for a moment we suspected a tsunami was coming! We’d never seen the estuary so low. It looked the way we imagine a desert must look just after a flood. There was drift wood sticking out all over the place and it made for a beautiful landscape. We had a nice long walk, taking pictures and sipping the last of our wine as the sun set.

Back at the picnic table we found our blue cheese had disappeared! We never expected the Weka to go after our cheese! Well, it seems we’re learning the hard way today. Ferdi eventually tracked the cheese down, lying in the road close to the kitchen. The wrapper was gone and it was covered in gravel. That cheeky bastard Weka seemed to have good taste. Ferdi cleaned of all the gravel while Talita cooked a very tasty Indian dinner. We spent an hour reading before hitting the hay.

Today’s highlights:
1. Chatting with Rick.
2. Wine and cheese.
3. Walking around the estuary.

Thought for the day:
There are always two sides to every story. Unfortunately it’s very easy to forget that.

Sunday, December 6th

Another rainy morning dawned on us. It seems as if it’s always raining on weekends with nice sunny days during the week. After a delicious egg and hashbrown breakfast we headed into town to pick up a few supplies, then headed over to Rongo, looking for Paul. They said he was at home so we drove over there. He invited us in and over a cup of tea we had a chat about all that had transpired over the last month. Soon he had to get back to work, so we drove over to Paddy’s to have a chat and let him know how things had turned out. He’d been worried that we’d left and was glad to see us. Over another cuppa we had a nice chat and he showed us the flutes he’d been making. What an amazingly talented guy! Making a flute is a very precise and tricky affair and Paddy demonstrated, with shouts and waving arms, exactly what happens to a flute that doesn’t make the cut: first he curses at it, then he stomps on it, and what’s left goes into the wood stove fire. Apparently the bamboo makes a good fire. We dig Paddy. He’s awesome!

Before leaving we needed to load the dingy onto the van. We loaded the oars inside but had to carry the dingy out because Paddy’s driveway is far too overgrown to permit our exit with the dingy on the roof. It was raining pretty hard and we were absolutely drenched by the time we got it on the roof. Back in town we dropped the dingy off at the batches where we used to stay. Bruce wanted the dingy to go to Lewis, but he wasn’t in town so Paul said we could leave it there for Lewis.

Back home we dried off and did some reading, then went for another walk through the estuary, this time armed with gum boots. It was great fun and Ferdi had to remove his boots to cross some of the streams. After a shower we made dinner and watched a Casper de Vries comedy show. As usual, he had us in stitches, but also reminded us about the state of poor SA.

Today’s highlights:
1. Clearing the air with Paul.
2. A visit with Paddy.
3. Seeing Casper again.

Monday, December 7th

In the morning we headed to the fishing spot near the river mouth. You can see the spot from the holiday park, but to reach it you either need a boat, or you have to drive all the way over the river, through town to the beach, then hike about 30mins. We didn’t have a boat yet so we had to drive and hike. On the way to beach a Pukeko ran into the side of the van, inflicting mortal damage upon itself. It wasn’t dead, but it seemed to be suffering, so we stopped and Ferdi went to investigate. It appeared to have broken its neck and was rolling over and over and scratching at the ground. Ferdi saw no other option but to put it down, so he used our axe. It wasn’t a nice thing to do, but leaving it to suffer and die slow was not an option either. They are beautiful blue and black birds,
More Weka bootyMore Weka bootyMore Weka booty

Blue cheese with gravel is an acquired taste
with a red helmet, huge feet, and a white triangle under the tail. This poor fellow had not survived the game of “Chicken” with the Boesman.

With that nasty business done we continued on to the beach. We hiked to the fishing spot and when we arrived could see that it was directly between the holiday park and the ocean. Next time we’ll try to use a boat. While Ferdi fished Talita tanned in the sun. Ferdi saw a Shag catch a fish, he saw a fish swimming by in the shallows, but he didn’t catch any fish at all. Good thing Talita’s vegetarian, cause Ferdi doesn’t seem to be any good at supplying meat (except for killing poor defenceless Pukekos of course). The line on Ferdi’s reel was also way too thick and near lunch time the whole expedition went “south” when the line tangled up too badly to be disentangled. We called it a day and headed home. On the way we stopped by the hardware store and got some thinner line. Let’s hope next time he has more luck.

Back at home we made a late lunch, then helped Margaret clean the bathrooms. Ferdi went to test the new line in the estuary behind the park and it appeared to work fine. Later Talita did some admin while Ferdi sat reading in the late afternoon sun. We’d both gotten a tan from the fishing expedition and realize that you could get seriously burnt if you don’t watch the sun here in “no ozone” NZ.

Today’s highlights:
1. Fishing/tanning on the beach.

Additional photos below
Photos: 14, Displayed: 14



Just so you can see how pretty these birds are

8th December 2009

Pukeko defences
Pukekos are known for their cunning defences, faking a neck injury by rolling and scratching on the ground when feeling threatened. - From the book of BS by Leon
9th December 2009

Waar gaan julle Kersfees deurbring??? Ons vertrek 15 Des.2009 om 20h20 na Stockholm en op 16 Des. na Kiruna (Lapland) vir ons "snow adventure holiday with snowmobiles, ski's and snowshoes,watching moose, ride our own dogs sledge and reindeer and built our own igloo and see northern lights etc. Ons vlieg terug na Stockholm die aand van 22 Des.2009 en bly in Hotel tot 23 Des.2009. Ons vlieg die namiddag van 24 Des.2009 na Jaco en Sarah in London en is betyds vir Kersfees daar in hulle groot dubbelverdieping huis met 3 slaapkamers!! Daar gaan ons kuier tot 8 Jan.2010 wanneer ons terugvlieg na SA. As hul baba nog nie gebore is nie, dink ek gaan ek nog n week kuier!!! Ons begin eintlik weer 11 Jan.2010 weer werk. xxxx

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