Saturday, January 10, 2015

More from Paradise….

Things have quietened down at the Akapoua campsite.

On Monday my best mate Lynette flew in to Claris for 4 days holiday. She was going to bring her son but he pulled out at the last minute so it was just Lynette.

I had spoken to Brett (my boss) and asked if I could borrow a vehicle to pick her up in, which was not a problem. So Monday morning Brett arrives in a very stinky truck laden with the rubbish and recycling from the barge in the middle of Port FitzRoy Harbour! So in I get and off we go, pausing for a cup of coffee and morning tea at his home at Okiwi. Jo his wife commenting often about the wafting stench…..

As we set off again south Brett casually drops into the conversation “Oh you don’t mind helping unload the rubbish at the recycling depot do you?” So there I was helping to empty about 14 wool sacks and fertiliser bags of recycling and rubbish. What a stench!  Then we headed off to the airstrip and got there just as the plane taxied in. We all had a good laugh about picking Lynette up in the rubbish truck.

We headed down to Medlands Beach to check in down there and had a coffee on the way back at the Claris Texas Cafe. Then meandered our way back to Okiwi, changed vehicles and headed back to Akapoua.

We had a quiet afternoon until Frederick decided that a walk to the waterfall would be good. Bad move!  I had forgotten how unfit Lynette was and nearly exhausted her totally, but she got there and back. It was the stairs that got her.

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That was ok, so she slept well that night!

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So the following day we wandered down to Port FitzRoy and she picked up a couple of books from the donation box out the front to read. After we got back to the bus, she had decided that she needed a couple of days off…..

So Thursday arrived and we headed off to the annual Mussel Festival. A bit of a celebration of the mussel industry here on the island. A great day despite the slight sprinkling of rain.

There was some great local and imported talent over two sites, the lovely reserve and up at the Boat Club. Great food, good music and great company. What more can you ask for. There were mussel fritters, smoked mussels, mussel and bacon kebabs, mussel chowder, and that was just for starters…..

Friday I packed the bus up to head down to Claris to drop Lynette off at the airport to fly home. She (I hope) had a wonderful relaxing time when I wasn’t trying to do her in by exercising her too much!

When we got to Claris I dropped in to see Brett again and he asked if I would mind doing the camp run on the way through and we changed vehicles, went up to the DoC HQ to pick up various foodstuffs, cool pads and radio batteries for the various camp hosts. SO we dropped Brett back at Okiwi and Lynette and I set off towards Claris, stopping at Harataonga. I got about 1/2 way in thinking “Yup I could get the bus down here” until we passed the turn off to the actual campsite. From there the road narrowed to a single land, very, very windy and very tight corners. So no way will I ever attempt to get the bus into Harataonga Camp!

They were very busy there in comparison to me at Akapoua. Must be the beach, lovely swimming beach over there.

Then on to Awana Campsite. Nick wasn’t on site so we had a quick look around at the one camp family he had and headed southwards. Went all the way to Medlands and dropped off the cool packs and frozen stuff for Catherine there and had a look at the family of ducklings that were hogging the water tap!

From there we headed back to the airport only to meet up with a lovely American couple that had stayed at Akapoua for a few days. It turns out that they were flying on the same flight as Lynette!

So now all very quiet in camp. Just one family and one young couple today who I have lent the kayak to to go have a bit of a look around the bay.

Yesterday was a very special day for me. I harvested the first of my tomatoes.

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and I ate it with a pork chop and roast potatoes.

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A lovely meal if I say so myself.

So we have been having some awesome sunsets here on the island….

I have also managed to get some great shots of the kereru that have been flying around the bus…

I have also managed to get some of the pateke or native brown teal

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I have been trying to get more of the kaka but they seem to be flying much higher since all the people arrived.

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Well I am into my last two weeks of working here, and have started to plan my 10 days before I leave the island.

I am planning to tramp from Akapoua Bay through to the Kaiaraara Hut and from there head along the South Fork track to Mt Heale hut then up to the top of Mt Hobson, out to the road via Palmers Track and Windy Canyon. Then down the road and onto the Tramline Track down to the hot springs at Kaitoke and from there back to Akapou via Tramline, Witheys, Kiwiriki Tracks and the Kaiaraara Hut.

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But that may well change…. also want to do the mountain bike trip from Kaiaraara Hut down Forest Road through to Kaitoki and back again.

So that is the update from Aotea Great Barrier Island.

Safe travels everyone.