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Published: February 18th 2010
12/2/10 - Our neighbours at French Pass, Ann and Katherine, have two kayaks. They caught blue cod and a John Dory but had no idea how to gut and fillet them. Dave and I volunteered, and ended up with the fish for dinner. Two stingrays were cruising the beach waiting for scraps from the fishermen. The neighbours lent me their snorkelling gear, but there were no paua to be found. Didn’t venture too far around the rocks as Ann had met a very grumpy, large seal the day before. It rained for about 3 hrs.
After dinner Dave and I walked up the hill and down the cliff track to the Pass lookout where the currents from the tide change swirl and eddy in fascinating patterns, not unlike the meeting of the oceans at Cape Reinga.
13/2/10 - We left French Pass in heavy fog and headed for Nelson. The Hori Bay 4x4 track was only a 4wd track for the last 3km if wet. Then investigating Cable Bay, we learnt that this was the place where the first telegraph cable was laid between Australia and NZ, enabling communication between NZ and the UK to reduce from 6 months (mail
by boat) to 4 days (telegraph cable). What a huge achievement that was!
In 2001 a new fibre optic cable was laid between Cable Bay and Levin. It is 200km long and is buried at 1.9m below the seabed.
In Nelson we found a great old pub called the Post Boy. At $35 per night it suited us fine, to catch up on laundry, a hot shower and good pub grub. That night we went to the Liquid Bar and listened to a gypsy band, then back to the Post Boy for good old karaoke.
14/2/10 - Went to the Tahunanui Car Show, watched a burnout competition for a while, then to the WOW (World of Wearable Arts) complex. That night we met Lester L's (Kerikeri) brother in the bar and had a great chat. (Small world)
15/2/10 - Kathy bought good hiking boots, and Dave bought a beach fishing rod.We drove to Ruby Bay via Rabbit Island, and Mapua. Stayed at the McKee Memorial Reserve camping area right at Ruby Bay beach. Yippee - no wekas, ducks or sandflies or mozzies.
16/2/10 - Had lunch at the Motueka River, then over the Takaka Hill. We had
The water has come up out of the ground from 4km of underground rivers in the Takaka Hill
been advised by Ian to go up the Cobb Dam Road, so we did. What a great drive up to the powerhouse, then a further 11km to the far end of the Cobb Reservoir where there is a Trampers Hut and a DOC camping ground. With a huge area to ourselves, we swam in the dam, ate a lovely steak and swatted the sandflies.
17/2/10 - Because of expected rain we headed back to the main highway and drove to Takaka, caught up on groceries, then drove to Pohara and Totaranui where we had lunch. It drizzled most of the time unfortunately, so we were unable to really see the beautiful scenery. But certainly the silica sand is golden. We booked into the … Hotel in Takaka, met a milk tanker driver, Warwick, who gave us info on getting onto High Country stations, and an invitation to stay when passing through Temuka.
18/02/10 - Raining this morning, so drove to Pohara and walked the cute/short Grove Track - great limestone formations - then back over the Takaka Hill to Motueka where we hid under the shelter of the bridge to clean out the fridge (smelly bait) and fix
the ignitor on the fridge.
Plan to head to Murchison over the next few days, meet Garth P (ex-Kerikeri) and take him across the New Creek Denniston track and up Mt Rochford - good weather is coming for the weekend.
Will put up pix soon.
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