Everything that has a beginning has an ending—and so it was with our road trip around South Island. Our circuitous route towards a Cook Strait crossing took in parts of North #Canterbury, #WestCoast, #Tasman, #Nelson and #Marlborough.
(4/4) 🎂 ONE YEAR on Mastodon & of full-time CREW missions in our vanship/ bachmobile/ waka whenua, “Curiosity”
❤️ #Wellbeing: The state of being comfortable, healthy or happy; Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened—after Jacobowski
Our well-being can be enhanced by simple things, such as watching the coming & going of the sun e.g. https://curiositydrive.org/2023/01/27/doubtless-bay-and-more-beaches/
Range Energy’s electric trailer can improve semi-truck mpg by 36% #rv
(3/4) 🎂 ONE YEAR on Mastodon & of full-time CREW missions in our vanship/ bachmobile/ waka whenua, “Curiosity”
🧭 #Exploring: Travel through an unfamiliar area in order to learn about it; The most dangerous worldview is the worldview of those who have never looked at the world—Humboldt
We found the journey isn’t over, even when the road ends e.g. https://curiositydrive.org/2023/05/05/public-road-ends/
Rented sea kayak from Mārahau into Abel Tasman National Park—a South Island highlight. Prev enjoyed quiet winter walks on the famous track; it’s popular to paddle in & hike out. Into the lagoon at Apple Tree Bay (📷1) before crossing Astrolabe Roadstead to nth of Adele Is to see seals (📷2). A Lady in the Rock at sth end (📷3) B4 rtn via Fisherman Is (📷4). A 13km/ 3.5h loop.
(2/4) 🎂 ONE YEAR on Mastodon & of full-time CREW missions in our vanship/ bachmobile/ waka whenua, “Curiosity”
🌲 #Rewilding: Restoring an area of land to its natural uncultivated state; We’re replacing the wild with the tame… headed for disaster—Attenborough
We’ve visited a number of ecosanctuaries aiming to restore #native species & habitats e.g. https://curiositydrive.org/2023/09/29/northern-dunedin/
(1/4) 🎂 ONE YEAR on Mastodon & of full-time CREW missions in our vanship/ bachmobile/ waka whenua, “Curiosity”
🤔 #Curiosity: A strong desire to know or learn something; A delicate little plant that, aside from stimulation, stands mainly in need of freedom—Einstein
We learned of the incredible diversity among NZ #fungi & other #native “smalls” e.g. https://curiositydrive.org/2023/03/26/waterways-of-northern-westland/
#Nelson Market offers street foods, produce & displays of artistic flare, such as the steampunk-inspired creations from the workshop of an “Old Coot” (📷1) & upcycled metal sculptures that Bruce has been forging for 12 years (📷2). In #Māpua, Russel bends spoons into a stunning kōtare form (📷3) & the “Nut Job” ice cream donut at Hamish’s is a work of art in its own way (📷4).
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Barewood Garden (6⭐️) located in #Marlborough’s Awatere Valley is open by private appt./ $20pp. 50 yrs in the making, planting surrounds a 120 yr old cob cottage (📷1) & adjacent 100 yr old wooden homestead (📷2)—where Joe has lived & farmed all his life. The garden is Carolyn’s passion, sheltered from wind by a screen of mature trees (📷3), with a pond (📷4). 🌸 #BloomScrolling
A fiery dawn from pitch at Wards Beach (📷1)—the gentle sound of breaking surf soon thereafter shattered by the reverberating thrum of track-forming bulldozers (📷2). They had been fired up to launch crayfishing boats that had just arrived in the bay by truck (📷3). They do say “An early bird catches the fish”, don’t they (📷4)?
Ward Beach on the eastern #Marlborough coast hosts one of our favourite NZMCA park-over properties; there’s no ⛺️ camping in the adjacent reserve (📷1). The sway of NZ bull kelp/ Durvillaea antarctica with the sea swell is mesmerising (📷2). Spring beach & shore decorations include yellow-horned poppies/ Glaucium flavum (📷3) & naturalised bunnytail grass/ Lagurus ovatus (📷4).
The titan’s nest contained 6+ 🥚 eggs, seen from the safety of a holed limestone wall (📷1). Once it was safe, closer inspection confirmed they were genuine (📷2). A few had bonded with the underlying rock as protection from the tides (📷3). A 🦖 hatchling left nothing but this man’s shoe (📷4)!
Ward Beach boulders are dolomite concretions uplifted in 2016, formed >65M yrs ago.
The vineyards of Wairau Valley seemed endless (📷1) although most of the big-label cellar doors/ wine & dine options are located between Renwick & Blenheim. Returned to Rock Ferry, a small boutique-like estate offering good food (📷2). Burnt some of it off on Wairau Lagoons Walk, where royal spoonbills roosted, pied stilts waded (📷3), & beaded samphire likes wet ground (📷4).
The Wairau River flows along the line of the Alpine Fault; seen here at Kowhai Point (📷1). On the banks is the endemic NZ myrtle/ rōhutu/ Lophomyrtus obcordata, recognisable by its ♥️ heart-shaped leaves (📷2). We didn’t spot the endangered sedge Carex inopinata said to shelter here, but Digitalis purpurea was conspicuous (📷3). Wairau Valley is known for its vineyards (📷4).
Transited through Tasman District, with an overnight stop in Murchison. On towards Marlborough via SH63 alongside Buller River (📷1) to St Arnaud. Morning tea stop in Kerr Bay, Nelson Lakes National Park (📷2). The endemic NZ longfin eels/ tuna/ Anguilla dieffenbachii plentiful beneath the protection of the jetty (📷3). Would be ideal weather to hike to Parachute Rocks (📷4).
St James Walkway “smalls” (2/2). The truffle-like violet pouch #fungus, Cortinarius porphyroideus (📷1). A close-up of the headdress of an inquisitive endemic South Island robin/ Petroica australis (📷2). The #native NZ everlasting #flower or “Hell’s bells”/ Anaphalioides bellidioides (📷3) & snowdrop wood-sorrel/ Oxalis magellanica (📷4).
St James Walkway “smalls” (1/2). So small & nearly overlooked, the #native carnivorous rosy sundew/ Drosera spatulata (📷1). Native #lichen Sphaerophorus stereocauloides, likely dislodged from the beech canopy (📷2) & Pseudocyphellaria homoeophylla, with cup-like fruiting bodies (📷3). The white-flowering shore hebe/ Veronica elliptica is also native to NZ. #BloomScrolling
Is the 4–5 day/ 67km St James Walkway from Lewis Pass too ambitious? Try a 6h/ 17km out & back trek thru Cannibal Gorge | Kopi-o-kai-tangata (named for 🦴 remains indicating a Māori tribe feasted on another). The beech-clad path into the Spenser Mts (📷1). There are several bridges (📷2) & creeks—some with waterfalls (📷3) to cross. Cannibal Gorge Hut sits in a clearing (📷4).
The Waiau Uwha River alongside Lewis Pass Rd/ SH7 (📷1), before we edged out of North Canterbury to re-enter the West Coast. Near the pass summit, the Alpine Nature Loop Track is one of our fav short walks—in any weather (📷2). Gloioxanthomyces chromolimoneus grew in ☀️ trackside (📷3). A slightly sulphuric dip at up to 42°C in the geothermal pools at Maruia Hot Springs (📷4).
Another look at geology in sth end of Gore Bay. GeoTrips say the cliffs expose marine sediments of the Moturau Group (limestone, mudstone rich in calcium carbonate & greensand—from the Oligocene) & on top, Greta Formation conglomerates, laid down more recently in shallow oceans (📷1). Chunks have broken from the unstable cliffs & eroded to look like crocodile hide (📷2–4).
Returned to Gore Bay near Cheviot; the small campsite was full for #Canterbury Anniv. 3-day weekend. Wild sweet peas add a splash of colour to the foreshore (📷1). Good to see the driftwood tepees are being maintained (📷2). The collection of rocks tied to a fence—some with messages, seems to have grown (📷3). A good long beach for catching sunrise/ early morning walks (📷4).
From tree lupins in the sand at The Pines Beach nr. Kaiapoi (📷1), turned inland to the foothills of the Southern Alps in North #Canterbury. Breakfasted on venison & whisky relish pie (📷2) at Sheffield Pie Shop (in Oxford #NotTheUK); top quality! Ashley Gorge on Inland Scenic Route (📷3); Waterfall Track has views over plains, Banks Peninsula, Summerhill & Pegasus Bay (📷4).
Edmunds EV Charging Test: How fast does each EV charge? #rv
We circled back to #Christchurch via southern Canterbury, timing our travel to catch the early blooming of lupins in the Mackenzie Basin. You might even say we were “lupin north”! Before continuing with the northward journey there were several mop-up points of interest to visit (and revisit) in Christchurch City and on Banks Peninsula.
Birdlings Flat lies at the base of the 25km Kaitorete Spit; people fossick for gemstones on the long beach (📷1). Spent our 1st-ever night parked in lay-by (designated for self-contained vans) on a city street, in New Brighton, #Christchurch (📷2). Yellow lupins adorn the adjacent dunes (📷3). A soak at He Puna Taimoana; hot pools use heat pump tech to warm salt water (📷4).
Ōnawe Pā loop track is a 6km/ 1.5h rtn stroll if you 🅿️ at The Duvauchelle Hotel—wise in a large camper. The pā was besieged in 1832 during NZ Musket Wars, when Ngāti Toa & Ngāti Awa massacred the defending Ngāi Tahu iwi/ tribe. Surrounded by sea at high tide, land access was via an isthmus (📷1) of mudstone (📷2). French Farm Bay from summit (📷3) & view back to isthmus (📷4).
From a delightful park-over property (POP) at a farm on Le Bons Bay Rd (📷1), it was a short drive to Ōtepatotu Scenic Reserve off Summit Rd. The 2km/ 40min Ōtepatotu Track loops via the Lavericks peak at 755m, affording views over Akaroa township (📷2), Okains Bay (📷3) & to the Ōnawe peninsula protruding deep into Akaroa Harbour, anchored by a wafer-thin isthmus (📷4).
Le Bons Bay (📷1) on Banks Peninsula was home to French settlers; the name may be that of a sailor who made landfall here to confirm it wasn’t Akaroa Harbour! A fur seal was resting on the sand (📷2); yellow-eyed penguin visit too. The surrounding rugged hills are volcanic (📷3). The estuary is a protected nesting site (📷4) for variable oystercatchers/ Haematopus unicolor.
Akaroa on Banks Peninsula was much more popular than during our autumn visit: the freedom camping area was full, so we had to look elsewhere for overnight parking. Noted during a wander: the Coronation Library c.1875, housing reference books as well as 2nd hand sales (📷1); 1 of many lovely heritage homesteads (📷2); 1 of many old cars on NZ roads (📷3); a whaling past (📷4).
Flowers seen during a walk in Orton Bradley Park on Banks Peninsula included digitalis in many colours, purple thistles, Scotch broom/ Cytisus scoparius with flecks of dark orange (📷1); endemic mikoikoi/ Libertia ixioides from the iris family (📷2); vetch/ Vicia sativa (📷3); & miner’s lettice/ Claytonia perfoliata, with flower inside the leaf (📷4).
Enjoyed a 9km/ 3.5h loop walk around perimeter of Orton Bradley Park (via interlinked Tablelands, Waterfall Gully, Magnificent, & Hunters Gully trails). Views from this working farm to Otamahua/ Quail Island (📷1); across the valley towards Mt Herbert at 919m (📷2); of waterfalls dropping from basalt cliffs (📷3); & of Mt Bradley at 855m (📷4). Busy on #Canterbury Anniv. Day!
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Chitina, #Alaska was once pretty much a #GhostTown after an earthquake stopped the building of a highway from there to the Kennicott mines. As a joke, someone once painted a ghost on his house when he left for better pastures. Ghost on the house became a tradition and landmark for this pretty much empty town.
You’d be hard pressed to find a NZ campsite with on-site gardens & trails as extensive as those at Orton Bradley Park, on Banks Peninsula. The Rhododendron Dell comprises the collections of the #Canterbury Rhododendron Society, beginning with 220 plantings the were enhanced from 1985–2016 (📷1–3). There’s an attractive café too (📷4)—should your car lack a fitted kitchen!
Visited Six Extinctions exhibit at pop-up #Canterbury Museum (📷1). Mass extinction = 75+ % of species lost over short time (~2M yrs). Occurred during:
1. Ordovician 86% e.g. Endoceras (📷2👈)
2. Devonian 75% e.g. Dunkleosteus (📷2👉)
3. Permian 96%
4. Triassic 80%
5. Cretaceous 76% e.g. 🦖 T-rex (📷3)
6. Anthropocene ?% Clear correlations btw 👨👩👧👦 & loss of biodiversity (📷4).
🚴♂️ Cycled a mix of Te Araroa, Alps 2 Ocean & local cycle trails around Lake Tekapo; see www.tekapotrails.nz. Willow Bay (📷1). 🌲 Pine cones on Takapō Regional Park trails were hard to ride over! Tekapo River & Control Structure/ SH8 bridge (📷2), seen from Cowans Hill Trail. Further up the hill are many tarns (📷3) & good views over the Mackenzie Basin & adjacent ranges (📷4).
Lake Alexandrina is filled with rainbow trout; those in baches or caravans take to small rowboats to fish for them (📷1&2). The lake is a nesting site for Australasian crested grebes/ kāmana/ Podiceps cristatus (📷3&4). Good divers but poor walkers, they spend their lives on water, build floating nests, carry chicks on their backs & are known for elaborate mating displays.
Lindis Pass Hotel (📷1) in Nine Mile Historic Reserve is below 1226m Lindis Peak (📷2); summit track closed for lambing. Originally a gold rush store est. 1861; a permanent building by 1873. It quickly fell into disrepair when a local farm acquired its iron roof. Access via Old Faithful Rd, a dirt track off SH8 (📷3). Boulder copper/ Lycaena boldenarum the only patron (📷4).
New Episode: hpr3980 :: Huntsville to Vicksburg
Hosted by @Ahuka on 2023-11-03 is flagged as Clean and is released under a CC-BY-SA license.
Cycled along Frankton Arm & around Kelvin Peninsula, a section of the 120km #Queenstown Trail (in the Great Rides app). Immediately after crossing Kawarau Falls Bridge the trail delivers, with a stunning lakeside sequence of many small jetties, boats & secluded beaches (📷1–3). The trail also passes below the landscaped gardens of wealthy homes lining Peninsula Rd (📷4).
(2/2) Bannockburn Sluicings, Cromwell #Otago. The loop walk overlooks several vineyards nestled along the flats beside the flooded Kawarau River—part of Lake Dunstan & seen here with purple thyme (📷1) & red sorrel in foreground (📷2). The original ground level of the Carrick (alluvial) Fan indicates just how much gravel was shifted (📷3). An example exploratory dig (📷4).
(1/2) Bannockburn Sluicings, Cromwell #Otago. Hydraulic sluicing here sought to uncover gold-bearing “pay dirt” at the bottom of the deep gravel layer. Hillsides were literally blasted away using water pressure. The transformed landscape now cloaked in poppies & thyme (📷1–3). A restored miners hut in Stewart Town, with mud mortar btw stones & protective clay render (📷4).
The freedom camping area at Lowburn Harbour offers a perfectly acceptable view from pitch (📷1). The edge of Lake Dunstan here is decorated with tree lupin/ Lupinus arboreus (📷2), naturalised in 1889. Another North American immigrant growing with abandon here is the California poppy/ Eschscholzia californica (📷3). Across the road is Lowburn Inlet & Sugar Loaf at 304m (📷4).
(2/2) It’s not yellow that rules the landscape here, but shades of violet/ purple. We’ve come back for the “purple haze” of wild thyme/ Thymus vulgaris (📷1); more of that soon 🤞. On the surrounding hillsides there’s also naturalised viper’s bugloss/ Echium vulgare (📷2) & wild sage/ Salvia verbenaca (📷3); plus the native poroporo/ Solanum laciniatum (📷4).
(1/2) We’ve come back to Roxburgh in Central #Otago, revisiting a powered pitch on an orchard to wait out incoming cold & wet #spring weather. Here’s the view from just up the hill (📷1) & of the township itself (📷2), nestled by the Clutha River (📷4). The yellow of gorse has given way to yellow #flowers of broom/ Cytisus scoparius—naturalised to NZ in 1872 (📷4). However…
By the way, this is a salient lesson in why you never leave your camper/caravan/motorhome with the water pump(s) or water heater turned on.
Had we not been here when the water heater outlet line popped, we would have come back to a water-logged (280 litres worth) motorhome and a burned-out water heater.
With our time on South Island running out, we reviewed our planning guide to identify places of interest we had not yet visited, and places we hoped to revisit. Revisits could be because we would like to see blooms/ colours at a particular time of year, see a landscape in better conditions, or simply because we liked it.
Cathedral Caves in The Catlins, #Otago are at north end of Waipati Beach. Access is via 2km private Rd off Chaslands Hwy with paid 🅿️, then 1km bush track. Two sea caves join in V-shape, creating a 200m passage that is up to 30m tall. Access also depends upon tides/ sea conditions affecting safety: cathedralcaves.co.nz has opening times. 🔦 optional, but expect 💦👣!
Tulip fields beside Ramway Rd West, Edendale #Southland. We called by as fellow travellers from Southland suggested we make a small detour. Triflor NZ operate NZ’s largest tulip farm. There’s an open day this Labour Day (23 Oct) so public can wander with permission amongst 🌷. They will shortly thereafter be debudded; the bulbs will be exported to the Northern Hemisphere.
Mavora Lakes, #Southland. (3/3) South Mavora Lake | Manawapōpōre. Follow Rd back to camp, which skirts the lake shore (📷1) then Mararoa River (📷2&3). Be prepared for dust showers as vehicles pass though. It’s 3.5h/ 11km total for the loop back to North Mavora Lake (📷4). Mavora Lakes Conservation Park part of Te Wāhipounamu–South West NZ UNESCO World Heritage Area.
Mavora Lakes, #Southland. (1/3) South Mavora Lake | Manawapōpōre can be circumnavigated from DOC camp via a swing-bridge to Mavora Walkway (📷1), which crosses the outflow of the northern lake (📷2). Track runs down W edge of Mararoa River & the lake, mostly thru beech forest inhabited by common chaffinch (📷3); some open grassland. Spring off to poor start for one nest (📷4).
Mavora Lakes, #Southland. At end of a dusty 39km gravel road, DOC campsite sprawls over large area at bottom end of northern lake; Rd forks off to secluded pitches (📷1). Choose to be enclosed by beech trees, open views to the lake head some 11km distant (📷2), or mixed lake & forest vibes near the outflow (📷3). Curiosity parked among scattered beech below Thomson Mts (📷4).
After a last look at (fully exposed) Mitre Peak (📷1) in Milford Sound, back to DOC’s Cascade Creek Campsite. A pleasant evening (📷2) was followed by a pleasant morning (📷3); these views from pitch are hard to top. We made a third attempt to find the elusive mohua that lives in the beech forest here; only the Sth Is robin/ Petroica australis was breakfasting in public (📷4).
Milford Track, #Fiordland smalls (2/2). On this section of the track there were many tree fuchsia/ kohutuhutu/ Fuchsia excorticata—with its flaky skin-like bark, branches not infrequently fallen onto the path (📷1). Many varied species of moss, lichen & smaller ferns, incld. Lopidium concinnum (📷2); Hymenophyllum revolutum (📷3); & Cranfillia fluviatilis (📷4).
Milford Track, #Fiordland smalls (1/2). Gaps in the canopy were just cause to look up, revealing the big stuff (📷1). But there was so much more to see looking down & around. Examples incld. this ever-curious fantail/ Rhipidura fuliginosa (📷2); unfurling tree fern/ Dicksonia squarrosa frond (📷3); & palm-leaf fern/ kiokio/ Blechnum novae-zelandiae (📷4).
Milford Track, #Fiordland (3/3). The aforementioned swing-bridge affords views of Giant Gates Falls (📷1&2); a good spot for a sandfly-infested picnic. From Sandfly Point to here is 11km/ 3h return, so depending on your taxi time, turn around & take the same path back (📷3). Enjoy the views towards Boultbee Island from Sandfly Point if you’ve time (& blood) to spare (📷4).
Milford Sound | Piopiotahi cruise (6/6), #Fiordland. Perhaps the most enduring memory of a Milford Sound cruise won’t be of specific features, nor anecdotes told to tourists, but of the sheer cliffs. Looking upwards from the foot of a 2,000m wall of rock that disappears into the clouds can’t help but rescale your world. Amazing plants manage to cling to smallest footholds.
The Milford Rd, #Fiordland. 1st km of Lower Hollyford Rd is sealed, to Lake Marian Track 🅿️. There’s an accessible series of cascades 10min in (📷1&2). 3.5km/ 90min to Lake Marian via rough track:
Rock & root seek to foul thy boot!
Lake set in “hanging valley” (glacial artefact) sitting btw Mts Christina & Lyttle (📷3&4). There are several glimpses back up to Pops View.
The Milford Rd, #Fiordland. Continuing towards Milford Sound | Piopiotahi there’s an opportunity for views of the 3.3km-long Lake Gunn (📷1). 6km further, the platform at Pops View overlooks the Hollyford Valley (📷2) & is itself overlooked by Mt Christina at 2,602m (📷3). At 945m elevation, the 1.2km long Homer Tunnel cuts through a steep mountain; it opened in 1953 (📷4).
Florence Hill Lookout affords superb views over Tautuku Bay in The Catlins (📷1); the peninsula has no road access & is almost amputated by the Tautuku River. Spouting Cave on Rainbow Island just offshore outperforms most blowholes we’ve visited (📷2). Tautuku Beach has been 100,000 yrs in the making (📷3); patterns in fine quartz sand as captivating as staring into 🔥 (📷4).
I enjoy going to #RV shows even when I am not planning to buy one yet. I found a new favorite camper van, #Winnebago Roam that only later I learned is designed for people using wheelchairs (which I am not). All furniture is narrow to fit wheelchairs, making it feel very spacious. It has many handles that make it easy to move around the van. Bathroom uses a magnetic, sturdy curtain as door, making it easy to open from multiple sides without feeling flimsy like a regular curtain. Nice to find examples of when designing for #accessibility results in something better for people not explicitly needing it.
Sandymount to Sandfly Bay track took 1h to descend 2.7km to the beach (from car park at end of Sandymount Rd, via lookout). The track begins as sandy soil but very soon becomes pure sand (📷1&2). We didn’t access the beach due to presence of large sea lion bulls (📷3)/ insufficient beach to keep a respectful distance. Sandfly Bay (as in “Sand flies”) seen from lookout (📷4).
Freedom camping beside beautiful Pūrākaunui Inlet; view to 468m Mopanui peak (📷1). On track to estuary mouth sands of Pūrākaunui Bay opposite & defensible cliffs of 18th century Mapoutahi Pā (📷2); Warrington Spit visible beyond. On Pūrākaunui Inlet Track (📷3) saw rare juvenile nankeen night heron/ umu kōtuku/ Nycticorax caledonicus: not supposed to be here, nor awake (📷4)!
Oooh... #crappy 1970's #RV technology. The #Thermasan, which was (supposed) to burn your #poop while driving.. and then discreetly dropped it on the road as you drove away. (h/t @kj5amz) https://www.theautopian.com/back-in-the-1970s-an-rv-supplier-wanted-you-to-burn-your-poop-in-your-campers-exhaust-as-you-went-down-the-highway/comment-page-1/
A clear morning to bring fresh perspective on life’s trivial annoyances at Lake Camp, #Canterbury. Standing on the shore at -3°C with freshly brewed coffee in hand to watch the sunrise is something to lift the spirit.
Lake Rotoroa (“long lake”) is largest lake in Nelson Lakes NP; water taxi runs from jetty (📷1). View south down lake to Maniniaro/ Angelus Peak 2,075m in the Travers Range to E; Mt Misery 1,601m to R (📷2). On western shore, Braeburn Walk 5km/ 1.5h thru beech/ podocarp forest (📷3) leads to waterfall. Source of Te Kauparenui/ Gowan River (📷), draining lake into Buller River.
We previously shared our thoughts on "Hunting the eierlegende Wollmilchsau"—or trying to find the perfect, no compromise “egg-laying wool & milk producing sow.” What are the pros and cons of this particular motorhome model/ layout? Furthermore, what home improvements have we seen fit to make?
Pupu Hydo Walkway is the lesser known Pupu Valley treasure; it offers a levada-like environment you can enjoy closer to Māpua than Madeira. For 1.7km the walk follows a 1901 gold mining water race, repurposed for electricity generation in 1929. 107m down penstock to the powerhouse (📷1); 💦 race running along steep hillside (📷2&3); ⚡️ power generator (📷4). A 5.5km/ 1.5h loop.
Healthcare exec who helped Clarence #Thomas buy his $267,000.00 #RV clams up about financial arrangement https://www.rawstory.com/clarence-thomas-2662797963/
The season of “winter” can last for almost six months in some parts of New Zealand—in Southland we had seen signs that things were closed for winter break from April to October. The southern hemisphere winter is technically only from June through August. So how has the New Zealand winter affected us, given we’ve just entered August?
(3/3) Abel Tasman NP, Onetahuti to Tōtaranui. From Awaroa Inlet it’s a further 7.1km/ 2h 20min back to Tōtaranui Beach. En route the track passes Waiharakeke Bay (📷1) and Goat Bay (📷2&3) before Tōtaranui comes into view (📷4); it’s just a 100m detour to a lookout at Skinner Point. Including the taxi ride, made a 26km journey over 5h 20m, of which 16km/ 4h 20min was hiking.
(1/3) Abel Tasman NP, Onetahuti to Tōtaranui. The 15min water taxi ride from Tōtaranui to Onetahuti Beach passed this “apple rock”, apparently not yet split (📷1). After our dry feet drop-off (📷2) we walked to the beach’s north end, where a fancy new bridge crosses the estuary (📷3); this becomes a wetland for some way inland (📷4), here viewed from the climb out of the bay.
Gorge Creek Viewpoint is reached via a 350m fork off Harwoods Hole Track, Canaan Downs/ Pikikirunga. Weathered limestone looked gorgeous in frost (📷1) but didn’t make for easy footing (📷2)—somewhere btw Malham Cove’s pavements with crevices (UK) & Tsingy’s razor-edge peaks (MG). But bravery has its rewards (📷3). Today’s “small” is an unusual pattern in rocks—source anyone?
(3/4) Abel Tasman NP, Torrent Bay/ Rākauroa to Onetahuti. Medlands Beach offers the picture-postcard tropical beach—except it’s not going to melt your popsicle at 13 degrees (📷1). Might be our fav beach so far though! Bark Bay (📷2) was named for timber harvesting here; a tidal estuary sits behind it (📷3). Tonga Quarry was a former base for extracting granite blocks (📷4).
(2/4) Abel Tasman NP, Torrent Bay/ Rākauroa to Onetahuti. Frenchman Bay was frustratingly difficult to photograph, but eventually the trees saw fit to afford an unobstructed view (📷1). Invasive Hakea sericea/ needlebush were flowering (📷2). Falls River, viewed from the swing bridge crossing (📷3). Sandfly Bay for lunch in the sun—& not one sandfly made us her lunch (📷4)!
We've been sitting in an RV park in Wilson, N.C. for a month and it's time to move on. The park is ok, management is good and the price is on the lower side.
Some people may complain about the row of fulltime long-term residents out back, but their units are well-kept as are their lots.
But still, now that the weather has gotten nice and toasty, it's time to go.
Sensng that, the toad threw a hissy and decided that it didn't like its seven-year old battery any more, so half the day was spent dealing with that.
A bit more to do and we'll be gone. T-2