Golden Bay 5th – 8th April

After all the excitement of swimming with dolphins I thought I had better do an extra page for our trip up the north of the south island past the vine yards and into Golden bay. If you have a map of New Zealand you can see that we did a heck of a dog leg. I had it in my head that because we had booked the cheapest ferry crossing we could not change it. Of course this was not true, we ended up staying an extra night with Peter and Jo. I wonder if we had known this before if we would have ever made it across to the north island. We ave bought our first property paper – well look at the scenery!
We have missed so much of the south island out and not done half of the things that we had hoped to do, maybe that is a good thing, to think that ‘I’ve done that’ would exclude a return trip.
After lots of mini stops and a visit to a Steiner school we realised that we were never going to make it to Golden Bay so decided to stop in Nelson. Bad choice for the bank balance as the next morning was a great market; loads of food, great crafts and even a lady selling merino wool cycling tops – very retro. Stocked up with cheese and biscuits we continued on to see Jo and Peter; the family we had met in Nepal and then up a mountain near the Rob Roy glacier. We had planned to bring some delicious bread, mussel pate and a collection of olives but the children found them before we could put them away so they quickly diapered. How I am not sure as they had already consumed fruit smoothies, liquorice rolls and massive German (not Belgium, I was informed, by a very blonde and buxom lady with a strong continental accent,) waffles.

We arrived in a beuatiful valley caught between hills and mountains, which had just recieved their first dusting of snow. Jo and Peters house was a couple of minutes from a fab bit of beach that we spent a good morning fossicking on. Our collection of interesting stones and shells has grown to such an extent that it had to be housed in it’s on box. I would love to include some pictures of the beach but neither I or Angela remembered to bring the camera. There was sand and pebbles. A blue, blue sea and pine forests atop of ‘pancake’ rocks at the back of the beach. Someone had thoughtfully placed some arm chairs under a shady pine so we could sit in comfort while we supervised the kids climbing the massive manuka pines or swimming with the sharks. In Britain I guess you might suspect the seats had been dumped, but here, they had been placed in such a good spot that it was difficult to beleive so. We eventually moved on when the thoughts 0f crusty rolls and hand made cheese pushed admiring the idealic spot out of our heads.

We got explore poopoo holes. Chosen purley for it’s name. It was a massive fresh water spring – the biggest in asia, with the clearest water in the world. I can believe it after looking into 6m deep bowls and seeing the grains of sand dance in the up lift of the water. I am not sure if I have the exact spelling but it was definatly how it sounded.

So we left for the north island, wondering why we had not spent more time in one spot. We are getting a bit tired of travel, travel, travel it would be nice to stop still for a bit. I think it gives everyone time to reflect on the things that we have done. Then the other part of me, the part with itchy feet and eyes up on the far horizon thinks there will always be plenty of time for reflection. Anyway here are a few photos from our time on Golden Bay. (Called because of the early strikes of gold found in the streams here abouts. I was a bit dissapointed as I thought it refered to the beaches.)

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