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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 15 March 2023

Needle in a haystack

 March 15th

Another day of blue sky and wall-to-wall sunshine. Seems our last few days here and the weather Gods are favouring us.

The decision was made to do the 60 km from Lake Ngarato to Kawhia Hot Water Beach. A good hour and a half drive so the earlier we started the better. Low tide was at 10 am, the best time to dig holes in the sand to find the hot springs was at this time, we rather fancied a hot water soak. 

Dead on 10 am we arrived. A barrier was in the way, one we had to get over, a blooming great sand dune! Stupidly I forgot to take my Ibuprofen, that climb on shifting sands was a killer. Getting down the other side was no easy task either and I very nearly decided to slide down on my bum!

One thing lacking on our quest...no shovel! The plan was to dig with our hands, what we hadn't realised was the depth one had to dig down to, to find hot water. Plus not a sign of any bubbling water to show where the springs were. A few folk had already dug holes and found it almost impossible to find the correct spot. Two lads struck lucky and right on the shore line. But the incoming tide kept filling the hole. Not to be deterred those lads kept bailing the water out.  It was like a comic sketch, this was done over and over again, we laughed, they laughed with us and invited us to try the hot water. Wow. it was hot and the deeper they dug, the hotter it got. As for our lovely hot soak, we decided against, that will have to wait for another time.

Lots of trial holes

I went paddling and got caught out!

 I was in charge of map reading today, our annoying sat nav women refused to play and our position remained a mystery. This actually worked in our favour because I found a waterfall that we hadn't visited. It was a detour of about 40 km return but by Jove, it was worth it. The Marokopa Falls so impressive, they were even on the North Island best waterfall website as the opening photo.

I told him NOT to climb over the gate

Would he listen? No!

I did hand him my camera though, well he was already on the wrong side!

 Lunch was had here. Another two of the excellent New Zealand meat pies purchased earlier in the day. Gosh, I will miss their pies. The UK pies are not a patch on the NZ ones.

My navigation took us along the Marokopa Road, more washouts and road damage, then along the Mangatoa gravel road with its bone shaking ridges. Eventually we rejoined a tarmac road which lead to the SH 3 and finally to our destination at Tongaporutu. We spent several days here with Marilyn and David when we were  on the North Island in January 2020


We moved from here as this was not the freedom camping site.

This was though.

 And seen at Awakino


And wildlife


Martin Williams said...

Couldn’t agree more about New Zealand pies! Almost worth flying all that way just for them.
Have you been to Wairere falls near Matamata on the Old Te Aroha road? Quite a walk to the top, but well worth it

Ian and Irene Jameison said...

When went to Matamata back in 2017 it was to visit Hobbiton. The falls were completely missed then. With this trip trying to get to places we haven't been to before, we gave Matamata a miss. Shame really as we had plenty of time to do the walk. One set of falls we are never destined to see.

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