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Sunday, 16 January 2011

Nelson - Farewell Spit, 3rd - 9th January 2011

Having been forced into staying at Tahuna Beach Holiday Park for an extra night, Mel and I were relieved to finally be on our way again on the 3rd of January. We had, in part, only stayed at the beach for that length of time because we had  been warned against not having anywhere booked for Christmas and the new year. As it turned out, as it almost always seems to turn out, the advice was wrong and there would have been accommodation had we have looked for it. That’s a point I would like to make as it is constantly being reinforced everywhere we go in the world.
“Oh, you don’t want to go there, it’ll be full of gangs, you won’t get a good welcome.”
“You better not go to Cambodia, the Khmer Rouge will kill you.”
Ipswich is a nice place, you should visit some time.”
“Oh, Nelson is a no go zone if you haven’t booked for Christmas.”
“You’ll find your journey tough today, the hills here are the worst in the world.”
All advice, all rubbish, so if your planning a journey any time soon, my advice is not to listen to anyone’s advice and make your own mind up as you go.

The Tahuna Beach Holiday was great if you are Kiwi family looking for a Kiwi holiday with lots and lots and lots of other Kiwi’s. It wasn’t for us. So, as I said, it was great to be heading off to another, less frequented area of the island.
We were cycling in pretty intense heat as we headed towards Motueka and Mel was struggling somewhat as we had to climb up some testing hills due to the conditions. By the time we reached a campsite, we were both very dehydrated, with sore bums and tired heads from having to concentrate so hard through the dust of the journey that we were really delighted to be able to jump into a nice cool swimming pool before we even thought about putting up the tent. Not only was the Motueka motel and campsite much smaller than Tahuna Beach, it had better facilities, including free internet and it was $6 cheaper a night to stay there.
We ended up staying for one night. Mel found a really good book for me in the book swap, ‘Shakespeare’, by Ivor Brown. Printed in the 1950s and hard backed, it makes an interesting read and I’m enjoying it immensely.
We decided to by-pass the seasonal work (fruit picking) office which is in the town on our way out to Takaka as we will be going back through the town on our way back to Nelson and we can enquire as to the possibility of getting work then, rather than worrying about it before we have seen Farewell Spit.
We are currently staying at a place, just on the outskirts of Takaka, a character Tavern and Backpackers called the ‘River Inn’. It wasn’t easy cycling here mind you, we had to cycle up to the highest point we have ever had to climb so far; 791 meters above sea level to be precise. It took us 2 hours of cycling, all be it with a few breaks. The 11 km down-hill on the other side was worth the job though. Sadly our cycle computer has given up the ghost, so it is impossible to say exactly how far we have travelled to date, but it is roughly 2,500 kms.
Takaka is a nice little town, with all sorts of hippy type shops and cafes. We had lunch in an organic place today, lovely food and no animals harmed in the process of making it! Afterwards we cycled to Pohuna Bay and went for a walk on the beach, before heading back through the town to collect some provisions for dinner and back to the Inn to eat, shower off the grime of the humid day and get our rest up for tomorrows cycle up to Farewell Spit itself.

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