Farewell Spit

Trip Start Jan 06, 2007
Trip End Mar 03, 2007

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Friday, January 26, 2007

Got up early from Kaiteriteri all rearing to go and hoofed on up a massive climb to harwoods Hole a 40min trek after a 12km bumping gravel road. Harwoods hole is the biggest cave in the southern hemisphere, 400 meters deep and 70 meters wide with a 183 meter vertical drop form the from the opening. Unfortunaley I got lost and never got to see it. Its a good 40 min hike to the place after the massive warning signs. Then there is one little sign closer to the spot, but I missed it entirley. I insted found myslef purched ontop of a massive cliff confused as to the whereabouts of the cave. I climbed down back to the track and started following some tags that I had noticed thinking they would lead me there but after decending down a near vertical rocky hill for half an hour in my jandals I decided to turn back. Smartest thing I'd done all day it wasn't untill I got back to the track I relaised that the tags were not part of the path to the hole. I couldn't find the cave so headed back to the car passing some americans who asked how it was. I lied to them saying it was o.k. when infact i had wasted a good 2 1/2 hours of the day to find nothing.

After getting back from my trek and starting the car it was aparant something was a miss with the car. It had hardly any power at all and sounded like it wanted to die. I turned the car around and pointed back down the massive hill and coasted to the first service station I came across and left it with them for a couple of hours. During this time I headed into town by hitch hiking and got picked up by the 3rd car that passed - nice one.
Returning to the garage 2 hours later expecting the worst I found out that my ignition leads where stuffed and had been shorting out. The guy had temporary repaired it but didn't have the parts to fix it that day. Instead I headed back into town in the car driving a hell of a lot better and found a Repco that had the part I needed. Back to another service station and the car was fixed within 15 minutes albeit at a total cost of about $200 for parts and labour.

With the car up and running ( thank God ) I was determined to make it to Farewell Spit so spent the best part of the afternoon repeating my drive back up the massive mountain this time actually being able to desend on the other side and then ekking out some K's beofre ending up in Collingwood.

Collingwood was a tiny little place on the coast about half way from Farewell Spit and Takka. The weather was pretty rubbish when I checked in and all the shops seemed to close the miniute I got into town. After dinner the weather cleared a bit and then there was a slow glorious stormy sunset where the colours transformed from dark greys and blues to neon pink all while loads of sea birds where swatting about the place. It was a great end to the day.
The next morning I headed straight out to Farewell Spit a 26km needle like hunk of sand that extends and curves inwards from the top of the southisland and set off about on a 3 hour hike past the pasture land and into the isolated sanddunes on the westcoast. There was absolutly no one about and the rough choppy sea couldn't have contrasted any more with the calm low tide water on the other side that provides santuary for birds migrating from around the world.

After Farewell Spit I continued back past collingwood and onto 'Pu Pu' Springs a mass of water that bursts up from underground vents and is reputed to be the clearest water on earth except that under the Ross Ice Shelf. The water in the middle of the springs looked surprising shallow but this was just an optical illuison from the clearity of the water. The deepest parts of the springs had a royal blue glow about them. After that It was time to head back to Moutuaka via the massive Mountain I had climbed that many times now.
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