I am so glad I've driven on gravel before. Many of the most appealing destinations are beyond the pavement. Anatori for example. I was so blissed out by the terrain I forgot to note the distance, and time being what it is, stopping frequently to drool or encourage Hiroko to snap a photo, meant as Margaret back at Tui warned me, cannot be determined. Lucky for me there were postcards at the Cape Farewell cafe. I bought one and plan to show you it personally when I return. Just ask the next time you see me!
We proceeded east back along the bay to Takaka where after loading up with groceries reconnected with Vincent, who along with Christina ,Caitlin and Mat were hanging out at Gee's yurt. We ate well, had some wine and told stories on each other.Then watched a video of the Fiordlands., As beautiful as it is I don't think I will be going there.
Then the three vehicles headed back close to town where we camped (almost) under a bridge.Getting cold and damp now as summer slides into fall. A heavy dew meant the tents were soaked in the morning. I managed to squeeze in a phone call to Elke then we all had breakfast together potluck, Hiroko takes good care of us all. Back to the library where I attempted to catch up on email. OMG it is like a constant stream of verbage really, and I need better filters. delete delete. Blog my thoughts. Who knew? I love this medium, The freedom to speak my somewhat articulate mind in such a random yet consistent manner is, as someone once said "brilliant!"
How hard is it to leave a place that seems like a kind of paradise? I had serious doubts I was ever going over that hill back to Moteuka. Roo kept bumping into more people she knew until finding us three enjoying Tiramasu and gluten free Hazelnut Torte a the Suiss bakery. Drove past Hang Dog the climbers spot across from an untried swimming hole..So many places to check out, Vincent, David and Hiroko had explored a local cave I missed somehow and...and...
Up we go, stop at the lookout, Golden Bay visible in the distance. Hiroko stands on the guardrail and takes the pictures for me.The batteries then die.
Over the top and down into Motueka, driving past our rendezvous spot since I missed noting it, we drove around till we spotted Ian, did some shopping and followed him home. His greenhouse is full of thriving plants, a cornucopia of potential permaculture plantings. We vist with Ian, Diana and of course the dogs! Have a wonderful dinner do email, load photos courtesy of David and by choosing satellite imaging on google brought the place back so well it almost felt like being there again.
In the morning we hear about Chile and the impending tsunami, hang laundry and plan our day. Off to the market in Motueka, my friend the hawk graces us with a landing in front of the van, then lift off close enough to make eye contact. We stop at Riverside Community for chai and a walkabout, David takes pictures and I whine to myself about dead batteries.
At the market I buy myself some rainbow tights, peaches, a Bratworst on a bun and organic blueberries ( the fellow is from Toronto originally). We all look at greenstone and the woman at one stand has some from Takaka, it is very dark. Her husband (originally from Colorado) carves stone they find all over. Gave up their jobs sold their stuff invested in tools and bought a place. Travel around collecting stone and then selling the carvings. More of her carvings keep coming out from behind the counter as she gets to know us. We all buy a piece, for each other..She also speaks about the giving and receiving, indicating the Maori themselves told her "the stone needs blessing". They suggested the source of the Riwaka, just up the road at the foot of Takaka hill. What a magical spot! The water comes rushing out of the hillside from a cave down through moss covered boulders into a clear green pool of incredibly inviting water. Once we had done our ritual in the stream among the boulders off came the clothes and into the pool. Yikes it was cold! It was here that I had my first nosebleed.
We walked back down the hill and stood together one last time, I truly love these folks and know we will meet again, soon. Wave to David and Roo. Hiroko and I drive south.
I will be writing something about my time in the course, some digesting/composting to bring forth a truly fertile product. Something that seeds will grow in.