"" Writer's Wanderings: New Zealand Diary - Ohau Waterfall, On To Snow-capped Mountains

Monday, November 18, 2013

New Zealand Diary - Ohau Waterfall, On To Snow-capped Mountains

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Another day of driving is ahead of us but we feel rested after our wonderful day of rest yesterday. We strike out in sunny weather and Bob remarks that even though we had some nasty rain and wind, we have still had a few minutes of sunshine everyday so far. Our drive takes us back over some of the area we crossed on our way to Abel Tasman but it is sunnier and we get to see it from a different direction. When we get to North Havelock again, we sigh. It is way too early in the morning to get any mussels.
One of the places we had planned to stop and didn’t because of time and weather on our trip out becomes our first stop of the day today. In the Pelorus Scenic Reserve is a bridge that crosses the Pelorus River and is near the site of where some more scenes of the Hobbit were shot. We stop and take the short trail down to the river. I can see how they would have enjoyed this spot for movie making. The river is running fast and makes a bit of a bend here from behind some rocks. There would be some great shots to be had if a river was needed. Again we decide we really need to watch the movie when we get home.

The little cafĂ© near the bridge has coffee available and we order two flat whites to take away and grab some bananas that are a bit brown but only 50 cents each. There are only three left and the lady gives us all three for the price of two to “clear my counter.” The bananas are nice and sweet and the coffee good. We turn and head southeast as our destination is on the Pacific Coast this time.
Down the road a while later, we glimpse a huge snowcapped mountain. The sun gleams off the white top creating quite a backdrop to the green mountainsides nearer us. The view only gets better the farther along the coastal road we drive.
Lady Garmon tells us our next stop is about 700 meters ahead but we see a turnoff in front of us. Wisely Bob turns in and we discover that this is where we are supposed to be. It is the Ohau Waterfall Walkway. As we get out of the car, Bob spots seals down on the rocky beach. He explains to me that this is a stream that leads to a waterfall where the young seals go to play in the water. I’m a bit skeptical until I read the sign at the start of the walkway. Sure enough that’s what the sign says happens and when we start out on the walk, there are several young seals headed upstream right next to us.

It is a short walk to the waterfall where amazingly we find more than two dozen seals playing in the pool at the base of a huge waterfall. The sign told us that they come here while their mothers are out hunting food in the sea. They learn to socialize and get along. Hmmm. Looks to me like a teenaged party. I sure hope those mothers are getting lots of food. I remember how teenagers eat.
A short while later and down the road, we find a place called The Store where we decide to take a break and get something to eat. I’m not very hungry so I get a cheese and bacon scone which turns out to be bigger than I need. Bob orders the seafood chowder that comes in a large shallow bowl with a scooped out small loaf of bread in the center. The chowder is delicious but way more than he wanted to eat. I dip my scone in it and enjoy the flavor. We could have ordered just that and had more than enough to eat for the two of us. We tend to order just one meal when we can and split it. Unfortunately we don’t always agree on what we want to eat.

Soon we find ourselves in Kaikoura and the Anchor Inn Motel. Our host says we’ve been upgraded and now have a sea view. The beach area is just across the street and the beautiful snowcapped mountains we enjoyed seeing all afternoon are just a little to our left. As we eat our dinner of fish and chips takeaway in the table in our room we enjoy our view and anticipate how beautiful it will look as the sun rises in the morning and hits those snow topped mountains. I like snow when it’s on top of the mountain and I don’t have to deal with it. But I don’t want to think about that yet. After all in New Zealand, it’s spring!

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