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Published: November 4th 2009
Dave at the Jetty with the dinghy
First morning in the Sounds - getting the boats ready for lots of action!
Oct 23-25 with the Woods at their home in the Sounds - Queen Charlotte Sound
This was a really special weekend for us with our very good friends, the Woods. It was so nice of them to make this trip happen for all of us, only their youngest, Blake, wasn't with us as it was his special weekend in Wellington with his grandparents.
Oct 23 - We left Timaru at close to 4pm on Friday with a 6-7 hour drive ahead of us - through some of my most favorite areas of New Zealand, the Kaikoura coast. We made a dinner stop at Cheviot at a lovely art gallery cafe, Two Rivers. I drove our car with Kim, Syd, Avery and Jonte. Gregg, Dave, Graham and Alex were in their ute. In Kaikoura Gregg and Kim swamped places cuz I didn't want to drive the crazy coastal roads in the dark. We arrived in Picton at 10:30 and loaded all our many bags (all food and everything for the weekend had to go with us) onto the water taxi. For us it was quite an adventure as we had no idea where we were going and once we docked,
it was an uphill trek to the house. The Woods are old pros at arriving late and trekking up to the house. After unpacking, sorting out beds for everyone, and getting the kids settled (well after midnight, i am sure), we cracked open a bottle of wine, and then another...
Oct 24 - We were a bit slow getting going, but I suppose that is how life in the Sounds is meant to be. Kim, Sydney, and I had several cups of coffee, read magazines, the boys spent the morning building a hillside hut, Gregg and Dave got the boats ready, Dave got out the chainsaw and chopped some wood and cleared part of the path. At lunch time we took the big boat to Lochmara Lodge and Cafe. This was somewhere we had wanted to visit in May when we came up to Picton, but couldn't get anyone to take us. It is only accessible by water. We had a lovely cruise over, shared a bottle of wine, let the kids go and play on the rope swing while we chilled on the boat. Lunch was lovely, everyone had a great time playing ring toss, patanque, and exploring
before lunch. After lunch we admired the rope swing over the water and bribed Alex to take the plunge. Although it was a nice day, it is not yet summer and the water and air were chilly. Well, Alex couldn't resist the bribe, esp when his mother said he would never do it, and I upped the anti with a $15 donation. That's all it took to start the chain...only Jonte, and we oldies, were smart enough to not go. (see photos) What a fun afternoon!! Took a "Tiki Tour" back to the house. We stopped at the camp that once been the first Lochmara Camp, now owned by much of Dave's family. In fact, we met Dave's aunt, Helen, from Wellington and her daughter, Jeannie, from London. Talk about bachs...these are quaint little, no bathroom, places that are enjoyed by heaps of families in the summer months. There is a beautiful sandy beach and is a short walk, down a steep path, from Dave's family house. For dinner we had a Mexican Fiesta. Our friends, the Evans, in Timaru, were having a big party that we were missing so this was our consolation prize - tequila and tacos! Later
that night, Gregg and Dave took Jonte, Avery and out possum hunting...Luckily, the possums have been mostly poisoned by trappers. While they were out, I napped only to awake to Helen and Jeannie sitting at the kitchen table engrossed in a big game of Scramble with Kim, Alex, Graham, Sydney, and Jonte. Fabulous first day...and much more fun to come!
Oct 25 - Another slow start...We were really enjoying the "chill" aspect of The Sounds. The boys worked more on thier hut and the older boys shot targets with the air rifle. We debated about a 2 hour hike, I got vetod, and decided upon a boat tour to Blumine Island for fishing and in search of the giant snail, one in only 3 places in NZ where they are found. It was such a slow, peaceful ride out, on a nice sunny day with lots of really fab yachts to watch. At the island, the boys wanted to rig up the fishing gear. Kim, Syd and I went to the island to explore. We only found hallow shells, not sure I would really have wanted to see the live, giant snail. The boys were successful with their fishing
attempts. There were several rather large sand sharks caught and thrown back. Each boy had a couple of catches. We returned to the house very late in the afternoon. After dinner of Chicken Divan, we let the kids head down to the beach bonfire while we polished off another bottle of wine and the rest of the tequila. Getting down to the beach proved to be quite a funny challenge. We slipped and slid and laughed until there was no sound to be had and our stomachs were sore. When we finally reached the beach the kids were wondering just how much we had had to drink....it wasn't the drink, it was night and a steep slope! Getting up the slope after the bonfire was much easier. The kids each took a boat ride with Jeannie in the row boat to view the phospherus which was really bright and so cool. Apparently in the summer it is like you are glowing when you are swimming at night!
Oct 26 - boo hoo, last day and pack up and clean up day. The water taxi was scheduled to arrive at 12:30 and we had lots to do. We did find
time to take the row boat out and practice our new skills. Gregg climbed up to "the hut" to take pictures of the boys masterpiece. Sydney made blueberry muffins and we devoured all the left overs for lunch - amazing how much food and alcohol 2 families can consumme in a 3 day period!
Sadly, this adventure ends, but another is to continue as we - Lisa, Gregg, Graham and Avery - head to Abel Tasman National Park. Sydney is down to her last 2 weeks of school so she headed back to Timaru with the Woods.
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