Friday, February 28, 2014

Cape Farewell

6k down the road and you're at Cape Farewell, northernmost
point on the South Island, looking out again into the Tasman


And a few kilometers beyond that and you're looking out
over the Farewell Spit, jutting 17 miles out into the sea,
dividing Cook Strait and the Tasman Bay

Said to be the longest natural spit...and still growing

Looking south now, across Golden Bay and Tasman Bay
toward Nelson

Wharariki Beach

We proceeded on from The Grove and Takaka, north, toward Cape Farewell, and at the end of even the graveled road, Wharariki Beach, tenting over-night at the Puponga Farm Motorcamp. (Linguistic aside, for those interested: Wh (in the missionaries' transcription of Maori) is pronounced as a soft f. Thus, Wharariki is pronounced Farariki. I think a Whuck You T-shirt would be awesome, but the New Zealand sense of humor may not go quite that far.) We spent a cool and windy night there at the top of the South Island before heading off next morning across the grassy and wooded dunes that comprise most of this real estate.
En route to Wharariki; a low-tide look across Golden Bay
toward Nelson

Puponga Farm camp

Environs...all grown-over dunes

Next morning on the trail, Vicki tells the sheep she is Guardian
of the Flame of Anor, and they must let her pass...

Walking the kilometer or so to the beach was one of the more
unpleasant hikes can't see it here, but it is a
gale force wind that is sand-blasting you at every step

Thus (I only opened the camera a few times before we
reached the beach)

The beach, however, particularly here at low tide, is pretty
glorious, all caves and arches and such; big ones too

Big cave

Cave seal

One of the big arches


Peering through

And another

Up closer

And another

Seal pups in a pool

Unforgettable place

The Grove

So after being wowed in Nelson and Richmond, we resumed our itinerary, driving back northwards, through Motueke and Riwaka, across huge Takaka Hill, down into Takaka Valley, to see The Grove, a DOC scenic reserve of old growth splattered across much older limestone, now uplifted from the sea. It was a bit like Angor Wat, with the weirdly-eroded limestone replacing the temples.

Golden Bay, just a mile or so away

Today's wedding photos, seriously; everyone got enough

Kiwi RVs At The Gypsy Fair

New Zealanders pride themselves on their inventiveness and resourcefulness. It is the land of making-do. Hillary was on the Everest expedition in part because of this reputation. We had seen a few of the many DIY RVs in our travels, but here, at the Richmond Gypsy Fair, quite a number were on display, and we had to stop. All these "gypsies" were fair-skinned northern European types, so we surmise the appellation has more to do with life-style than ethnicity. Quite a lot in New Zealand has to do with life-style.

My personal favorite

Gypsy craftsman; foot-powered saw

PS--not two hours later we are driving out in the Takaka
Valley and see yet another one...built on a fire engine...and
for sale, asking $50,000