25.04.2012 - 25.04.2012
We breakfasted with Dave, a friendly Kiwi we met in the kitchen last night. Dave works in customs at Auckland airport and was very helpful with travel tips around his country. It was the last day of his holiday and he also gave us some bread, teabags, a dubious smelling boiled egg, a tin of beetroot, some boysenberry jam, and some cheese!! We set off on the Southern Scenic Route towards Catlins Forest Park – the very southern parts of New Zealand.
After driving to Nugget Point to view the stunning ‘nuggets’ of sharp rock in the sea, we continued to Jack’s blowhole – a popular spot due to a very large blowhole which if viewed at high tide with a large swell creates great sprays of water into the air. Luckily, we turned up at low tide and a sea as flat as a pancake and so saw no sprays. But to be fair it still sounded impressive. On the short walk to Jack’s Blowhole we encountered a small kitten which kept meowing at us and trying to stop us walking by running in front of our feet and sitting down. It was very strange and we only escaped its clutches by sprinting into the distance. It left us contemplating whether it was trying to tell us something... like turn back...! Low and behold when we got back to the car park Queenie wouldn’t start... and we had no phone reception! Luckily, locals Norma and Clive let us use their phone to ring the hire company – Norma then made us a glass of exquisite lemon cordial and a ham, tomato and mustard sandwich. Whilst waiting for the Hire company to contact the AA, Norma decided that we should try a jump start as the battery was likely flat (no fault of owners – no lights or anything left on for the 30min outing!). Norma located the battery hidden under a panel and Clive got his truck and jump leads. It worked and we love Norma and Clive - we purchased some Cucumber Pickle from Norma for $2 to show evidence of this. Norma then shared a recipe for Rhubarb Chutney with Sarah.
Queenie working again, we drove to Owaka, looked around the museum and then drove out to Purakaunui Bay campsite where we indulged in some hand washing of clothes. Slightly nervous of battery dying again, we are taking Queenie to a mechanic tomorrow but couldn’t today as it is a public holiday (Anzac Day). If it does die again, there are worse places to wake up stranded – the place is beautiful and we are parked with great views of the beach we have just ran along and swam in.
Fingers crossed Queenie starts tomorrow...