Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Coromandel to my date with the doctor!

We finished our visit to the Coromandel peninsular on Monday with a very scenic drive down the coast with a couple of detours inland. The coast on the west is equally as photogenic as on the east and we had to stop time and time again to soak in the views. We can see why its so popular and has such a great reputation.

Our first detour inland was along the ‘309 road’ a scenic inland route back to the east coast, we didn’t want to go that far, but wanted to visit a couple of sights near the western side. The first was an ‘off the wall’ water park with apparently over 70 exhibits to look at, but a $20 each entry we decided to give it a miss, so went on to walk up Castle Hill, which apparently has a great lookout. Unfortunately that was closed due to logging, so we decided to go back to the west coast main road, but on the way passed through an area with a load of wild pigs roaming across the road. 

Pigs in the road!
Jackie with a week old pig with very soft hair
We stopped to take photos as they looked really cute and the very friendly owner came over cuddling a week old pig that, of course, Jackie had to hold (it wriggled, squealed but enjoyed the cuddles, eventually giving her a little bite!). A very softly spoken guy he seems to just sleep in a caravan, the pigs having another heated caravan nearby. He says they are 'Captain Cookers' and direct descendents from the one's brought over by the great man in 1760, they are very clean animals, he says and never mess in the van, they are his pets and he never eats or kills them, consequently there are now several hundred of them!

Fish in the roadside smokehouse
After taking our leave of him we carried on down the coast to a town called Thames, which is a great little town with a superb fish and chip shop right on the wharf. We had lunch and it was fantastic! A little open air smoke house with racks of fish being smoked was outside and the shop was very busy. A very worthwhile stop! From there a lane leaves inland to some excellent walking in native bush and we went in to do a short 20 minute walk to a lookout, which was enough as we both felt really tired for some reason.

Just starting the walk
Tea and cake was calling so I pulled into a nice layby on the way back to Robyn and Murray’s and did just that. As it happened the car park was the entrance to an old nineteenth century goldmine, with loads of mines, accessways and old railways to explore in a very scenic gorge so, refreshed by the tea and cake we grabbed a torch and set off for a splendid hour or two of exploring, before arriving back at Robyn and Murray’s in Katikati, ready for my visit to the doctors today (Tuesday).

Now pay the ransom!

In one of the mines (which have glow-worms!)
Accessways in the gorge


They are both the perfect hosts and looked after us so well, Robyn cooking a superb meal for us, we really can’t thank them enough.

Today, for me, was D-Day and my appointment at the doctors to have the blob on my left shoulder seen to. It was a medical centre in the village and is a bit like a big GP in the UK, but here they do these small operations on the premises. I was originally seen by a female English doctor who was trained in Birmingham, who was very good. When she saw our address she said ' Alvechurch! Do you know Doctor so and so who she trained with who live there'. we didn't, but how amazing is that! Today her husband did the operation. He is Scottish with a very soft Scottish accent, but they both met in Christchurch, got married and emigrated permanently.

His opinion of what is was something slightly different, but I can't remember what he called it. He said it was probably originally caused by a virus that can grow very quickly and could go on its own, but it could also turn nasty so needed to go. I thought that to have this treatment within 4 days of first going was brilliant and better treatment than I would have got in the UK (although it did cost $180!). Whilst there I showed him a similar blob on the back of my right hand, so he decided to cut that out too and send them both off for testing, so off he went with local anaesthetics (the worst part of it), chatting away as he went. Jackie was in there with me, so the whole experience was not too bad. I've now got about 6 stitches in my left shoulder (it was quite a big cut!) and 1 in the back of my hand (no extra charge for the hand!), but feeling a whole lot better that somethings been done.

The good news is I can't get it wet, so can't wash up, for about 10 to 12 days, but the bad news is I can't have any alcohol tonight! Not sure about how I'll shower either, but I'll just have to manage. Can't climb or do any excercise that extends the reach too much as it will pull. He says it could take up to 6 months to fully heal, saying that when the stitches come out the skin will have 5% strength and after 1 months about 20% strength, so he says it depends on how big a scar I want as to when I start using it! Will try and be a bit sensible though!

Tomorrow we’re heading off towards Gisborne as our time here in New Zealand is now getting on and we’ve still got a lot more to see, so unless we have to come back to the doctors when the results are known (10 to 12 days), we’ll be saying goodbye to Robyn and Murray, two very nice people and a whole load of animals! We’ll miss them, even after such a short time of knowing them! Must go now as I can smell the roast lamb cooking!

1 comment:

  1. How dare you tie Jackie to the railway line! :-) Nice doggie pics and thanks for letting us know about the operations (2!!). Lets hope for good results xxx