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In 1977 we hired our first narrowboat from Anglo Welsh at Market Harborough.From that moment our destiny was set. In 2006 we finally purchased our own brand new 57' narrowboat which we named 'Free Spirit'. Our aim is to travel the length and breadth of all the navigable rivers and canals of the UK. This will be our story as it unfolds.

Wednesday 28 December 2022

The holiday madness has begun.

 December 28th

 Blooming typical! Just when we decided to go for an early morning dip in the salt water bath, we found this!

Someone had pulled the plug out and with it being low tide, the pool wouldn't refill for another 6 hours, much too long for us to hang around. 

Changed out of our cossies ready for the off and drove back to Motueka. A liquid launderette was very convenient to park by, New World supermarket and the Warehouse (Clothing, Homeware, Toys, Groceries, camping etc) almost next door. While the clothes went on for a wash we nipped to the Warehouse. First seen in Oz, BBQ liners were a great idea for cooking on and even the dirtiest BBQ's in parks are no problem with these to lay over the muck. They are reusable, a wash in warm soapy water is all that is needed to remove the grease and are small enough to stow away flat. (gosh I sound like I'm doing an advert!) Anyway we decided to purchase three, I'm sure our son Colin and son in law Kevin will be pleased to have one to hand. It will save them no end of scrapping the fat and burnt on bits off the grill plate from their BBQ's.


Back to put the now washed clothes into the dryer and off to New World for a shop. An hour later, clothes folded and put away, we were back on the road heading for Marahau.

Had to drive through Kaiteriteri and sort of hoped to stop for a swim there but not a parking spot to be had.  More beach goers than we have seen for a long time. This photo doesn't show just how many people there actually was, there were loads as we drove into town.


A sign for Split Apple Rock had a sort of lightbulb go off in our heads. It had been mentioned, but I can't remember by whom, so we did no more than veer off the main road and head for that. 

We obviously expected a rock, and one with a split in it, and that is exactly what we got, but we hadn't realised a route march of nearly 400 m to get to it. Parking was permitted on the road, finding a spot was again a challenge. One of those big 4X4 Utes had the engine going, brake lights went on, and looked to be going so we sort of hovered in the road hoping. He did pull out, and we nipped in quick. 

So through bush, down gravelly track, lots of steps and finally to arrive at the beach. That rock was in plain sight, annoyingly when the tide is out, one can walk all around it. We got there at the wrong time. Tide was coming in and only a bit of beach was now exposed. Another hour and the sands would disappear completely. I took the usual photos, and we started back up. 



Up the first set of steps by the beach was a long drop loo. Coming down toward it was a council worker armed with loo rolls and cleaning materials. I asked him how many times he had to do that trek, he replied three times a week. We joked about his fitness level, said he must be super fit. He stuck out his belly showing his liking for beer. "Not so fit these days" he said. Told us in his younger days he ran for the Lancaster cross country team winning many events, "I was super fit then" he laughed.

Either I'm becoming super fit, or by stopping often on the way up to chat to people, that climb didn't seem that bad. I wasn't even breathing heavy!


Lunch was had before setting off for Marahau. There would be a 50.50 chance of us finding a spot, and yes, we were lucky that a car pulled out as we arrived. Chairs came out, and we sat by the Toy. The tide had nearly obscured the steps leading down to the beach, that was actually a good thing, 'cos we both had decided to go for a swim and the handrail was a useful tool to grip as the waves lashed over us both.  

We went swimming here

Ian went further than me, I was fully aware of a slight drag and keeping my feet became a bit difficult. The sand here was also so soft that at every step the foot nearly disappeared. Time for me to get out, I had had a dip, that was enough. 

Still in Marahau but further along the coast road.

By 3 pm we made tracks to the Alexandra Bluff Reserve. This was to be our overnight stop. When we pulled in I did wonder if we were in the right place. Large mounds of granite had been placed almost as if this was a work site.

Then we heard the Cockrell calling to his girl.  There was nothing around, no houses or farms, they must be escapee's. If we could have found somewhere else we would have left then and there. No other place to stop for nearly 40 km, or we could have gone back to Motueka, but it was much too late and as I mentioned yesterday, that camping ground gets full up by 5 pm.

You can't see it in this photo but a chicken had settled down right next to the Toy.

 So we do expect to be woken at first light. This reserve looks to be his territory and as such he will announce the fact to all other Cockrells in the morning.

And this made me laugh. Ian trying to chase that Cockrell away, it was making such a racket next to the Toy.

1 comment:

nbwakahuia.blogspot.com said...

I am so glad you got to have a swim! Thos beaches are super popular and there are huge numbers of people on their holidays now.

Did you manage to catch up with Jenny and Robin?

And I am looking forward to finding out what time the cockerel woke you...


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