Friday, 13 December 2013

Picton to Oxford via Outward Bound School Anakiwa


We farewelled my sister Yvonne and Ken in Waikawa and headed via the Queen Charlotte Drive from Picton toward our first stop, Anakiwa.
We passed Nick on his bicycle. It is a cool morning and there is little traffic so he has a good ride ahead and so do we…

The morning highlight is meeting several Watches of young people at the Outward Bound School.

I love our visits to the NZ Outward Bound School and I especially enjoy listening to students as they recount their experiences and reveal what they have discovered about themselves and as they talk of their hopes for the future.

It gives me great hope.

Baker Watch are ready to do their service activity.
Gloves, spades, pruning shears, grubbers...


Shackleton and Hillary Watches  are preparing to set off on the cutters. Sailing and rowing lie ahead.
This brings back memories of my experience in Cobham Watch in 2004.





Meanwhile Baker Watch have begun their service activity and quickly have the gardens trimmed.
Sea kayaks await as the skies clear over the tranquil Grove Arm.

We have seen many dairy herds over the last few days in the north Island but this is the first large jersey herd we have spotted.
When I was a child 'Bluey' the house cow kept us supplied with thick creamy jersey milk. Sometimes we skimmed the cream off the top and churned it into butter.
I was raised on this farm over the hills from Anakiwa near Havelock.
We stop for lunch at the Slip Inn. 

We check  the weather forecast and decide to ride south along SH1 on the East Coast through Seddon where there have been recent earthquakes. The landslip damage to the roadsides and the recent repairs are evident.
The Pacific is turquoise today.
We spot seals basking on the rocks and penguins strutting on the beaches.
The scene from The Store at Kekerengu.

We ride on through Kaikoura, Cheviot, Waipara and decide to take the inland scenic route from Amberley.
When I am on the bike I become very aware of driver behavior.
On this trip drivers seem to be keeping close to the summertime 4km threshold over the 100km speed limit  on the open road. Dick certainly is.
Yes, we see the mystery behavior of slow drivers on winding roads like the Hundalees who speed up on the overtaking lanes and then slow down again. That is probably the cause of the frustration for a driver who overtakes five cars and a logging truck with a trailer near Cheviot.

In the late afternoon we begin to look for a place to stay.
Today we are lucky.

A group of women sitting in the late afternoon sun outside Seagars at Oxford  give us a friendly wave.
Jo Seagar and her team had just finished a Cook School Christmas class for the day.
They gave us a wonderful welcome - and had a room available for the night. Just marvellous.

Dinner at the local Oxford Working Men's Club came with a warm welcome from John, the local panel beater and vintage motorcycle owner who had just been to the Burt Munro Challenge 2013 weekend in Invercargill.

We feel as if we are in heartland New Zealand.

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