Time for travelling again! We said our goodbyes to Anton, Erik and Jakob and hit the road. After a few seconds we saw two girls at the side of the road and they joined us for the trip to Nelson. Once we arrived in Nelson we met up with Mario after 4 months. We hiked to ‘the centre’ of New Zealand and the Japanese gardens, talking like we’d known each other for years. All this walking worked up an appetite, so we went to the Noodle Canteen for our beloved nr. 32. At the free campsite we enjoyed our evening with Mario and Jannick while enjoying Mirte’s birthday present.
After sleeping in till 10.00 we went on a shopping trip to Richmond Mall. Mirte found a fitting pair of jeans after ripping out of the last two. Then we went to Tahunanui Beach for lunch and continued our trip in Nelson. We wrote our blogpost in the library and saw Pluk van de Petteflat. No time for reading though, since we had a dinner date at Aad and Hilde. We caught up with them and watched the beautiful sunset while eating a delicious dinner. Afterwards we went back to the free campsite for one last evening with Mario and Jannick.
Finally we went to undiscovered ground; Farewell Spit. We had lunch looking at the beak of the kiwi and went to Whararaki beach in the afternoon. Although it was stunning, it was immensely windy as well. With tulbands made of hammamtowels we defied the sand and wind of the desertlike beach. At the campsite we met Raoul with whom we ate and then Steffen joined us for a game of ‘Fuck the Queen’.
The challenge we gave ourselves was visiting the most northern/southern part of both islands. So naturally we had to go to Cape Farewell. We did a 1,5 hour hike over hobbit like hills and had to go over some scary rims with windghusts pushing us back. It was only at the top that we could feel the actual force of the wind and we were both amazed by the power of nature. At 11 the four of us were ready to have a look at the hippie market in Takaka (hippie paradise). It was not as big as we expected it to be, but nevertheless it was interesting to experience a bit of their lifestyle. Then we went on a hunt for the location of the mere hearsay swingropes. We eventually found them by the tips of some locals and spent the afternoon sunbathing, swimming and swinging. We wanted some action afterwards, so after dropping Raoul and Steffen off we took a look at Pupu springs, said to be one of the clearest springs in New Zealand. We dove into the hippie lifestyle even further by spending the evening around the bonfire.
Because Miriam observently noticed something hanging loose at the bottom of the car we DIY for the first time on our car with some cable ties. With some help of Raoul and Miriam’s uncle we fixed it within seconds. Before saying goodbye to Steffen we first did a freaking hot hike all together to the Rawhiti Caves. We saw some deadly stakes hanging from the roof and it was bizarre to see some of those growing horizontally (due to the plants in the stones, growing towards light). We carried on with our journey including Raoul for the first kilometres. Together we tried to eat our lunch, the sandflies causing us to run half a marathon, at the place we dropped him off. When we finally arrived at Gentle Annie and got our Campermate cookie, we were ended our afternoon with a card game with some guys.
Although we had planned something else, our morning consisted of sleeping in and slowly getting ready for the day. However, we weren’t going to let a good day like this go to waste. So we packed up our stuff and drove (very stressfully because of a lack of fuel…) to the Oparara Arches. We saw some beautiful limestone caves and did a nice short hike to lake Hanlo with a Czech girl we picked up on the way back.
Nothing! Spending our day reading, watching Sherlock and writing was exactly what we needed today. However we did have a pathetic attempt to go to the glowworms. We drove all the way to the spot where the hike to the caves started in the dark, already having the worst horror thoughts. Boldly we started our hike, mobiles functioning as torch, turning around the moment we saw a sign saying “due to safety regulations closed”. Ooh too bad….We were really bummed out ;).
Love Miriam & Mirte