Lost in the Black Hole of Seddon or Clarence
Trip Start Jun 05, 2007
82Trip End Jan 06, 2009
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From the sounds we headed south a worked for the most non-organic Wwoof host in NZ for a week, and then down to Seddon, half an hour south of wine country to the Judges. The plan being to spend a week or two working off a rafting trip which Ben Judge was going to take us on. This we did, and the week flew by with their two children to keep us occupied. The following Wednesday we decided it was time to cash in our hours, and decided to hop on the river with the crew Ben was taking down.
A four hour drive up to Hamner Springs set us up for a 4 day, 220 km rafting drip, down most of the Clarence River
The rest of the day went off without a hitch, though the scenery through the gorge was like no other. You could literally see the layers of earth that had been pushed up to form the peaks surrounding you. These mountains are some of the newest geological features in the world, and it shows. We made camp on a beach on the side of the river, and feasted on crayfish (lobster), paua (abalone), and gunnard with corgettes (zuchinni).
The rest of the trip was as beautiful as the first day, with equal amounts of sun and warmth. Every deep pool we floated by, one of us would jump in for a quick swim. One of the days we had a long lunch near a good jump rock, and a few of us took advatage from differing heights. The food was incredible, inluding my peach cobbler, thank you very much. But seriously we lucked in on one hell of a trip, and all for barter. The last two days there were more rapids, and into view came the snowy peaks of the inner Kaikoura Range, folding in and out of view behind the nearer ranges.
Once we got to the mouth and had everything put away, Ben, Jordan, Amanda, and I went for a dive down the coast towards Kaikoura, and caught ourselves some more Paua, Crays, and Butterfish
After our trip the plan was to head to Nelson, but we were held up just relaxing, and doing a bit more work. The day before we were to head North, Sandy and Ben found us some payed work on a vineyard in Marlbourough, so we took it, and commenced to work for the next few weeks. And vineyard work is not easy. Completely repetitious, and likes to work small muscle groups that you don't tend to use in daily life. Between four of us, we planted 10,000 vines in three days. Well, five of us if you count the owner.
All in all we spent a month or so coming and going from the Judges either in Seddon or in Clarence, enjoying ourselves all the time. They became like a family to us down here.