This was to be our first night in the bus (we'd only been on day trips). It was time to test things out.
Leaving home, we weren't sure which way to head and then the weather decided for us. The West Coast was forecast for rain but it looked dry towards Blenheim. So eastwards it was ...
On the other side of the Whangamoas there's a picnic area that we stopped at. It's still a novelty being able to pull over, climb into the back of the bus and put the jug on. Bernie is a 'tea-aholic', and can't go far without a cuppa!
I could hear running water nearby, so I took the dogs for a walk in that direction.
Although the picnic area was a nice spot - we were disappointed by the rubbish scattered about. As I got closer to the river, I smelt a foul, decaying smell. And sure enough, not far away was the culprit - a decomposing goat carcass. Now, I know that smell would be heavenly to our dogs, for me ... not so much. So it was back to the bus and after we'd quenched our thirst, we were off.
The place where we were to spend the night is just a stone's throw away from the beach. How lucky to be able to stay here, right on the foreshore.
Once again, Bernie put the jug on, and I walked along the beach with the dogs.
At the eastern end of the bay there's a little wooden bridge crossing a stream flowing out to sea.
We ( Boo, Oakly and I), crossed the bridge and followed a track through the bush.
It's not a long walk (maybe 10 minutes each way), but it was nice to be amongst the bush and to hear native birds close by.
Later in the afternoon, the tide began receding.
It was time to explore the rock pools.
I love looking around the rocks, searching the tidal pools to see what might be living and hiding in there. Luckily, Oakly, enjoys it as much as I do.
There wasn't much bird life around, just a couple of Oyster Catchers.
When the tide turned, we headed back to the bus.
I was hoping to get some reflection photos, but it wasn't to be.
Some crafty marine creatures had left some impressive artwork on the sand.
Oakly had to have that one last look for that ever elusive stone ...
And then we were homeward bound.
This seat looked too inviting to walk past. I sat and soaked up the serenity and salty air.
A couple of fishermen left it too late and had to walk a few hundred metres until it was deep enough to start their motor.
The owner of the boat below was also late getting back and couldn't get to the boat ramp. Luckily he lives nearby and waited until the tide turned to go and collect his boat.
Later we were treated to a brief sunset, as Bernie began making dinner.
I really do need to learn night photography, I would of loved to have captured the moon light sparkling over the water. It was stunning!
We had breakfast outside just after 7 and already it warm (and entertaining). Tractors and 4WDs appeared with boats in tow.
No backing the boat for this guy (below), he was pushing his boat in front of his tractor. Nice and easy to launch.
Boats seemed to appear from nowhere. Once launched, and all aboard they headed out for a day on the water.
We could easily have spent hours watching the comings and goings (and so too could have the dogs), but it was time for us to pack up and move on.
We'll definitely be back again.