West Coast, NZ

Trip Start Jun 11, 2007
Trip End Ongoing

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Another bad start, the Clendon Mission house at Rawene was, CLOSED! It only opens on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. How are people on holiday supposed to visit all the historic houses if they are only open at the weekend, are we supposed to plan our whole trip around these places! Argh!
We drove through a really pretty bay where the towns Opononi and Omapere sit. This is the place (if you remember, it was on the news) where a dolphin visited regularly and became friendly with the locals, for about a year until it was found dead on a nearby beach. They weren't sure it was natural causes or sabotage as the activity had raised the dolphin profile.... Anyway very pretty and at least it had stopped raining.
The next place on our to do list was a woodwork, labyrinth and maze place at Waiotemarama. We got there and it was BLOODY CLOSED! And it is my friend Sam's birthday today and I want to ring her to say have a happy one, but there is no signal. I keep trying through the day but never a get one! I GIVE UP.
Our next stop was actually quite awe inspiring. Just down SH.12 just after Waiotemarama is "Tane Mahuta". This is the name of the biggest, living Kauri tree in NZ. You wouldn't believe the impact it has on you when you stroll around a corner and see it for the first time. You can't stand right next to it as it is fenced of as the root are shallow and delicate, however, I was able to stand on the fence and Robert got a photo of me in front of it. It really shows you how big the tree is. We spent a few peaceful minutes in its presence then wandered back out of the forest. We had lunch here and got very excited when we saw that the burger van parked outside sold chips.... But it wasn't to be, the deep fryer had broken and was in Auckland being fixed, darn it!
A few km's further down is a lookout point. It's a wooden building that has a balcony right around it with great 360 degree views. We got chatting to Jim and Julia, from Georgia. They were a really nice couple who were headed North, so we swapped interesting places to go.
We arrived at our Top 10 campsite at kaihu rather earlier than we expected, what with places being closed! So we took the opportunity to relax in the sun that had finally come out to play, write some blog and after dinner Robert increased his lead, yet further in Blackjack. Met Emily and Steve who were nice, we swapped numbers as they dive too.
Still no signal on mobile and my phone card won't work in the site phone box and the lady in the office won't let me use her phone. Will hopefully get a signal when we leave in the morning as it will still be the 12th then.
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