Monday, 10 December 2012

From aching legs to aching shoulders!

In an effort to go for all round fitness after the 20 something km 'tramp' yesterday we then went out kayaking. A day's trip, 6 of us in 3 double canoes, two guides (one training) and away we went. 
Me and Brian in our double kayak with guides Richard and Sam
 We had picked the 'soul food' trip, but even so I was surprised when we stopped for 'proper' coffee and biscuits on the first beach on Fishermans Island. 
Coffee stop on Fisherman's Island
 Wandered about a bit, saw a baby penguin in a nest, collected a few mussels to supplement lunch, and back in the kayaks. When we were in sync, we flew, but as soon as we hit some waves, or B started talking it all went horribly wrong! (He couldn't seem to talk and paddle, bit like BBQing really, though he has got better at that!) Sam the official guide was fab, such a great guy, and Richard was pretty cool too. 
'Elvis' Rock on the edge of Fisherman's Island (if you believe Sam!)

Having kayaked round the island and round Adele Island seeing seals and penguins in the water we arrived at Watering Cove where the guys set up to cook lunch! BBQ'd some lamb, heated pitta bread, salads before steaming the foraged mussels and a lovely lunch was had by all! We then tried a couple of sea urchins that Sam had picked up, you cut them in half (not getting prickled) wash most of it away in the sea, and the edible bit is a tiny orange streak attached to the shell, this is commonly known as roe, but is actually the egg production part! Gonads anyone? This would also explain why Sam was telling me we only wanted orange ones, not brown, boys and girls? They were allright, nothing exceptional, and only a tiny bit of food per urchin and a lit of effort, if I was marooned on an island or just to show off in the future then possibly I'll bother, but otherwise....
B sporting his new, borrowed hat - didn't want to risk losing his!

Anyway lunch was great, but we thought perhaps we'd better potter a bit further, small blisters were beginning to appear, for both of us only on the left thumb, and a slight tiredness was creeping in, so stopped at Coquille Bay for fab sticky chocolate cake, thought the sugar rush would power us back home, but no, Sam had something far better planned! We 'rafted' up, all holding on to one another and he produced a tarpaulin. Outside girls at the front held one corner each and outside boys at the back held the other two corners attached to their paddles, so way up in the air! Caught the wind and away we went! Really picked up some speed, also some water as the front of our boats scooped up water which sat on the spray decks which wasn't really what they were designed for, so I did get slightly damp around the waist, but it was such a laugh, not to mention a rest for our aching shoulders. We made it all the way back to the jetty and there was the van to pick us up!

Quick shower, popped back to the campsite bar for a pint of 'happy hour' then off to the Fat Tui, a small caravan restaurant that had been recommended to us for coffee a couple of days previously, we hadn't made it for coffee, but had seen it at the end of our tramp, and the fish and chips looked fab (and good value) and then Sam had said it was probably his destination as despite towing a fishing line most of the day he hadn't managed to catch his dinner. They were all right, great fish and chips really fresh, the perfect end to the perfect day!.

Woke up the next day, only aching slightly, but it was time to move on, so we've headed up to Farewell Spit, most NW point of the S Island and home to some of the best climbing in NZ, so did a reccy and made our plan for today. We are just waiting for our unlimited internet to run out and the sky to stop spitting and we'll be off!

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