Warm Winds of Summer

Trip Start Aug 22, 2012
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Trip End Jun 16, 2013


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Flag of New Zealand  , South Island,
Tuesday, November 27, 2012

As those of you who know me, I am a bit of a clothes-horse. I love variety in style and colour in what I wear and condensing my clothing apparel to one backpack and the limited choices for 9 months is a challenge for me.  On top of that, encountering cold weather for weeks on end meant wearing the same thing over and over, perhaps changing up which layer came first!  Well, we have finally hit some warm weather and I feel a release – being able to vary my clothing choices and finally being able to wear a lovely little merino tunic I purchased in Dunedin.  Freedom!  Life is good.  And very uncomplicated at this time in our lives, as you can tell by my deep thoughtfulness :)

Golden Bay is a bit of a jaunt from Greymouth.  Even though it isn't far in kilometers, there are many winding, weaving roads that take so very long to drive.  Hairpin turn after another and in the middle of one there is a 100 km sign that is just downright freaky. Who could possibly drive more than 40 km/hour on these cliff-edge turns?

We stayed in yet another favourite place called the Innlet.  Hosts Katie and Jonathan create a friendly, communal feeling we really did not want to leave.  After an intense 6-hour hike which I wasn't sure I could complete (I was ready to tuck in with the sheep on this one) and a glimpse of some filming of "The Amazing Race" TV show, we hobbled home and cooked up a BBQ chicken meal with fresh NZ salad. Jim lost his lens cap which is so unlike him.  He hiked back out the next day to see if he could retrieve it. Nope.  It may have been an omen...

After two nights at the Innlet, we headed to the beloved Abel Tasman National Park.  The turquoise colour of the water seems unreal and a day of kayaking on it, stopping in at pristine white sandy beaches and hanging out with the seals was a perfect way to spend a day.  Much to our surprise we saw a Blue Penguin and some kind of shark. My poor, weak arm muscles were aware of their lacking fitness after a day of paddling!

Now is the story you have all been waiting for and the episode when Jim 'lost his precious'.  We went for a long hike along the shore into the park and after a couple of hours, I headed back and Jim continued on further. In his enthusiasm to pursue the perfect photograph in a creek, he lost his footing and fell cracking his ribs on a rock, *gasp* splashing water on his lens and shattering his carbon fibre tripod!  He ran all the way back to our hostel. Ouch, ouch, and ouch!

I was off with the car, blissfully exploring Kaiteriteri Beach, sitting people-watching and writing letters.  Our meet-up time was scheduled to be 6:00pm so I was oblivious to the drama happening back in the park.  Our gracious hosts at Kunuka Lodge (Cath and Allan) tended to both the lens by immersing it in rice and putting it into a heated space and caring for Jim's injury by giving him ice and arnica for his ribs. The good news is the lens is fine and Jim's ribs are sore but tolerable except when he sneezes.

We are very grateful that this episode turned out the way it did because it could have put a 'dent' in our travel plans.  The universe was working with us! 

Please keep sending us comments.  We love to hear from you especially around the holidays because we might be feeling a bit lonesome!  You can comment on the blog entry, on a photo, or by pressing the 'send a message' button an email comes straight to us and it is easy for us to reply to you.
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Comments

Margy on

Once again your pictures and story are amazing. It makes me want to go back to New Zealand. What a wonderful place. Sorry it was cold for you. I could spend weeks in Able Tasman.

Jane on

Hey you two!

Must say I relate more to the transition to summer clothes and the release of that, than I do the camera experience Jim had. However, the idea that Jim might have lost the ability of telling the story through pictures to accompany your words Donna...yikes!

And btw, you're not missing a thing here at this time of year with the usual over done intrusive music, over crowded parking lots, drivers whose patience are tested (ok, mine) and the very warm temps we've been receiving.

Alex is in Whistler for the year, riding the mountain and working, so the rest of us fly out next week to collect in a "cabin in the woods", which I've been threatening for years. I tell you, I CAN NOT WAIT!

Safe travels and no more of that perfect shot business in rivers!

Jane

Margaret on

I love reading your entertaining posts and looking at your beautiful pictures! And this confirms my choice to put NZ at the top of the travel list!

Penny on

Awesome pics!

Ruth-Ann Clurman on

Just loving being with you in this very inspirational journey vicariously! Donna, you are a gifted writer. I feel as if I'm there with you. Of course, I have two books that your writing reminds me of. In Your Own Voice: Using Life Stories to Develop Writing Skills is one of them. The other is Put Your Heart on Paper: Staying Connected in a Loose-Ends World. I can't overstate my admiration that the two of you planned, budgeted, and executed such an amazing life experience. I also can't overstate my appreciation of the words and pictures sharing you are doing that lets me feel as if I'm there with you. Thank you doesn't begin to express it!

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