New Year

The gardens we saw could have been national trust. Beautifully planted with a huge variety of plants and trees. The hydrangeas were my favourite. A huge range of different blues, some white but very little pink. They also grow in almost every garden, as do Agapanthus. These grow everywhere along this coast. Blue and white. Lining all the roads and dotted on the hillsides. Spectacular.

Just to clarify ‘stealth ‘ one equips oneself with a stick. This is either a sword/lightsaber. Then one legs it into the dunes, and creeps around trying to sneak up on the enemy. Much fun had by all!
So, after our extremely pleasant  Christmas interlude, we set off southwards once more, all a bit sad to say goodbye to our cabin. By some superhuman feat I managed to squeeze our belongings into pearl. She is bursting at the seems now, and Geoff gave up hope of a back windscreen view long ago! I blame the SUP. Ho for another DOC campsite. I am usually a fan as they tend to be in beautiful locations and have a nice wild feel to them. This one was heaving with a mutilated of humanity and all the dogs. We were lucky to get a pitch! Toilets provided, but no showers. I presume the DOC large cheeses decreed that the weary traveller would leap with joy at the prospect of a mountain stream dip instead. And so the traveller might have, if said stream was fit for human consumption. It was not. Though clear and enticing, it was so bone chillingly cold that it needed an effort of super human proportions to dip a toe in. This would have been my limit had it not been hot and sweaty on the journey. Not my favourite dip. Managed to defrost a little in my sleeping bag, but it got chilly in the night so frosted up again. Geoff always seems to have more than his fair share of the blanket on these nights.  Hmm mm.  Leaving that campsite without a pang or backward glance (the highlight had been some very friendly brothers who owned parakeets,  and bicycled around with them on their shoulders ) we headed on down. This campsite was worse. Long drop toilets. The large cheeses had obviously decided that the sea was near enough and left showers out again. Howling gale. We managed, with great difficulty, to put the tent up. However, Warehouses best is not made for the cut and thrust of rough living, and after a minute of two of watching it get buffeted practically flat, we all fell upon it to stop it being torn out and blown away. The 5 of us managed to wrestle it back into its bag. We decided to give it another go after the walk. Palliser pinacles were impressive and a bit eerie. Wind still up so we head to the seal colony at Cape Palliser. About as far south as you can get. The seals were one of my favourite thing so far. We could watch them from close up, and they had pups. Brilliant experience. Wind still doing its stuff. I make a half hearted joke about sleeping in the car. There is a huge cheer from the back! So that’s what we did on the 31st Dec 2017. New years eve in Pearl on a beach at what felt like the edge of the world! It was, as Elodie said, a squash and a squeeze! Geoff looked like a miserable camel hunched in his corner! Character building I say. Happy new year all!

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