Blogs from Karamea, West Coast, South Island, New Zealand, Oceania


Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » West Coast » Karamea May 12th 2015

The sensation of a bath getting hotter by the second rather than cooler is psychologically invigorating. The scolding water trickles from a board under my bum and up the sides of the tub. Like a frog slowly coming to a boil, I acclimate to the increasing of temperature. How much more can I stand it? I think to myself. I smile at the challenge, but I know I am not capable of boiling alive. Just in case, the cool tap water waits in the hose fixed above the bath. I close my eyes and feel a few more bubbles of heat swim across my sides as they rise. Thanks to a massive cyclone that came through the area a year ago, I can see the stars rise through the brush. Three huge Nikau palm trees tower ... read more
View from the Paddock
The Beach

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » West Coast » Karamea February 24th 2010

18/02/10 Back to Pohara to walk the short Grove track - an amazing landscape of limestone formations - then back over Takaka Hill to Motueka, through the Motueka Valley, stopping at McLeans Reserve - free camping site by the river. 19/02/10 Backtracked to the road to Mt Arthur where we walked in to Flora Hut. The road up there was so steep they had concreted part of it. Then down to Murchison via the Porika and Braeburn tracks. We booked into one of the old pubs in Murchison, then drove to Six Mile where the original power station for Murchison was built. Everything is still all intact. There is an hour walk around the site, up to the dam and weir at the top. 20/10/10 Met Garth P at 9am to take him over the New ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » West Coast » Karamea February 18th 2010

Thursday, February 18th The day dawned wet and rainy so we didn’t venture out to the track. Instead we spent the morning working on the seats and doing a bit of sanding on the exterior of the canoe. Sean and Sala came by for a visit and to look at our canoe. We had a long chat while little Sala cavorted in the canoe. She’s so cute it must be illegal! Now Talita desperately wants a little Japanese baby. Anyway, we were seriously contemplating where to go next week. Talita’s cousin Sally and a friend of the family, Lucy, are both in Christchurch for a couple weeks and Talita really wanted to meet up with them. We decided on a scenic route through Arthur’s Pass instead of the quick way to Christchurch. After lunch Talita continued ... read more
Dudley is in heaven
Marg's gift to Talita
Farewell dinner at the Mansell's

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » West Coast » Karamea February 17th 2010

Monday, February 15th After our morning exercise we started to work on the seats for our canoe. We had bought two camp-chairs for the canvas and seat-backs and proceeded to build two wooden frames that fit into the canoe at the correct height and position. It look some planning and problem solving to get the shape and position just right, but by the end of the day we had the two frames pretty much sorted. Just before noon we drove to the medical centre. Ferdi had to see the doctor so that he could get a refill on his prescription. It’s a total money making scheme. We had to part with $100, more than double what we paid on our last visit to the same centre and the same doctor! Makes no sense, but we had ... read more
After the use of the orbital sander the peaks and valleys of the resin is clearly visible
The canvas and the frames
Front seat-frame

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » West Coast » Karamea February 12th 2010

Friday, February 12th We woke before dawn, dragged from our deep sleep by the sound of our alarm clock. We dressed, brushed our teeth, then set off for Westport before the sun peaked over the hills surrounding Wangapeka Valley. An hour and a half later we dropped the Boesman at the garage in Westport for a minor service and to get its WOF done. We had an hour and a half to kill and we were starving. We had burgers for breakfast then walked around the still sleeping town. Most of the businesses only opened after 9am, but luckily the Mitre 10 was open so we had a leisurely stroll through the shop. We got a foam roller to help apply the last layer of resin perfectly as well as a few more disposable brushes. Back ... read more
Our new Harmonica
Cute kitty at Saracens Cafe
Paddy fixing our cornering light

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » West Coast » Karamea February 12th 2010

Tuesday, February 9th We got up feeling very deflated. Last night’s documentary had awoken the old feelings of watchful insecurity and fear that we call “normal” in South Africa. It is shocking to realize that we live the way we do back home when there are places like NZ (and we suppose that Australia, most of the US and Europe are similar) where people enjoy freedoms that we can only dream of in SA. Even so, we made it all the way to the top of the track without taking a break, and all the way down in about 20mins (as apposed to the 1h30 the signs indicate). Back home we sanded down the exterior of the canoe and applied yet another layer of resin. This would probably be the second to last coat. Paddy had ... read more
A Paddy creation
A Paddy creation
Our laptop gets a new friend

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » West Coast » Karamea February 8th 2010

Saturday, February 6th We managed a good pace all the way up the Zig Zag Track and got to the top with only one very short rest stop. We really like this kind of exercise. The fresh, early morning smell of the jungle make our senses tingle. Back home we inspected the inside of the canoe and sanded down all the little bumps we found. We’d expected this to be a big task, fighting clogged sanding paper and working our arms to the brink of exhaustion, but it turned out to be easy, not to mention fun and satisfying. Before long Paddy made his appearance. He was looking good and brought us ice-cream again. We’d secretly been fantasising about Magnums for a week now, and can you believe it? Here came Paddy with a yummy Magnum ... read more
The hole is filled
Happy birthday Dudley!
He's a lucky lucky poochie

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » West Coast » Karamea February 4th 2010

Wednesday, February 3rd The last day of our diet dawned sunny and hot. There was no spring in Karamea this year. It went from winter straight into summer in a matter of days. All we could think about though, was the end of our diet and the promise of a meal without rice. Before we started the diet we had taken front and side pictures of our mid-sections, because without a scale we thought pictures might tell us if we’d improved visually. Looking at the ‘before’ and ‘after’ pics we saw that Talita had lost her boobs and butt, while Ferdi lost a bit around the waist and under the boobs. Both of us, unfortunately, still had our bellies intact. Seems these will have to be destroyed with another diet session or some serious exercise. Ferdi ... read more
Talita getting final instructions from Paddy
Destruction is her middle name!
She loves the power!

Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » West Coast » Karamea February 2nd 2010

Sunday, January 31st Before we left for the Zig Zag track Ferdi decided to check the Boesman’s oil. When he opened the engine bay he found a little hitch-hiker, a mummified (and most likely cooked) rat lying on top of the engine. When we arrived at the track he tried to take it out, but the body came apart when he pulled at it. Eventually most of the rat was on the road and we took off up the track. This time we actually jogged a bit, but running up a steep track is hard work. We loved it though and hope that we’ll be able to jog it all the way up and down before we leave Karamea. Back in the shed Talita kept sanding on the gunwales while Ferdi did more filling work on ... read more
He fell apart when we insisted he leave our vehicle
View over Karamea Valley
It's hot, even this early in the morning

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