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Sloggs' Travel Blog A journal of my travels in 2008 & beyond...

Farewell Spit and trying to kill the van!

NEW ZEALAND | Sunday, 18 May 2008 | Views [1799] | Comments [2]

Farewell Spit, at the northern tip of the south island of New Zealand

Farewell Spit, at the northern tip of the south island of New Zealand

This morning I drove on north to get to the northern most tip of the south island, Cape Farewell. The landscape here is pretty similar to the north island still, but I did know what the Farewell Spit was made off until I got there. It is a strange elongated outcrop off the end of the land, which creates a kind of huge bay at that point, check it out on a map to see what I mean. On route I made some stops along the fantastic winding roads, namely to see the view from Hawkes lookout, which looks out over the Golden Bay area. Further along the track I found a place signed as 'Bobs Lookout', so of course I had to have a look... he wasn't there unfortunately, but the view was awesome! Later in the morning I went to see 'Pupu Springs' which is the shortened nickname given to Te Waikoropupu Springs, which are said to be the largest freshwater springs in NZ and the clearest in the world! They certainly are clear, and the short walk through the area was very picturesque. The most amazing sight I saw there was the seriously over dressed old tart who was wobbling through the gravel paths in her leopard skin print stilletos and little mini skirt, it was not a pretty sight! I did try to get a covert picture, but failed miserably. I was amusing to watch people laughing to themselves as they clocked her... poor thing. She was dressed to pull some questionable old men, not walk around a natural wonder in NZ, lol! Further along the road I got a good chance to get some nice snaps of the amazing roads here, which are on my facebook albums. I'm very tempted to hire an imprezza or the like from Christchurch to get back to Auckland, just so I can really enjoy these roads! ;-)

Once I got to Cape Farewell, I chucked all my valuables into my rucksack, chucked on my walking shoes and climbed the hill for the 'lookout' which was pretty impressive and provided views of the whole bay area and the spit. I then went to walk along the spit, although I imagined you could not walk the whole thing as they only tout guided tours to the spit and so I assumed it was not nice terrain. I found that the beach was quite nice and the bay area was mostly drained so walking it was easy. I kept going along the beach, along the spit's edge and found no signs to tell me not to do so, so kept walking. Had I looked at the map in more detail, I would have realised that the spit is about 25km's long, and so walking it from midday wouldn't see my back in the carpark for quite some hours! There were several 'points' which I would aim for, only to then be presented with even more of this terrain around the corner, it just kept going and going. I reckon after 2 hours walking at my recent average pace of over 5km's per hour, I had done at least 10-12km's, but there was still so much land ahead of me. I decided to turn back, as the carpark would close on the van at 5pm and there was no way I'd make the end of the spit and back. It was a shame and felt like a bit of a failure, although the walk was pretty damn strenuous! Overall I walked about 20km I'm sure. I also ran some of it to try and gain the time back, but mostly cos I just need to kick my ass into a bit more fitness. Running with a heavy backpack on is an interesting thing, certaily gets the legs screaming! (Legs that are not really used to running for runnings sake)

When I got back to the carpark area, I had only one small path to make and I found it blocked by two bloody big bulls. I don't know who was more surprised to see the other, but they didn't want to move, and I didn't know quite how safe it was to just brazenly walk past them... I've always had a problem understanding cattle, lol! Anyway, I put my brave pants on (after clocking the nearest fence to jump over should anything happen!) and walked on through... and made it to the gate. The bulls did not move an inch, gits. Once I got through the gate I turned and talked to the nearest one to me and he turned and ran away! If only I'd tried that earlier... lol.

I changed out of my sweaty clothes back at the van and got on the road again, I had to head back to the south to find a place to stop for the night. On route I stopped to take a photo of some cows in a field I had seen earlier, who were all wearing rain jackets! As I pulled over onto the side of the road, onto some grass near some concrete plots, and stopped the van, the front wheel went down into a foot deep hole, making a huge crunching noise as the bumper hit the edge of the concrete plot in front of me!! Shit! The last thing I needed was to be stuck in a hole, on a very quiet road to the end of NZ at 5pm in the afternoon!! I got out to have a butchers before trying to move the van, and the rear off-side wheel was in the air, while the front near-side was down in the hole! I could not move the van. I waited for a few minutes in the hope that someone would come past that might be able to pull me out backwards and along came a little tourist car. They pulled over to see what was happenind thankfully and with their help I got the van out of there! One of them stood in the back of the van, to help weigh it down a little and the other guy pushed from the front as I clunked it into reverse and let the automatic gearing just pull me out. Phew!!!! I thanked the two European chaps for their help and checked out the damage. I think I might get away with it with the hire company as only the bumper has some scratches on the under side and I was able to click the bumper back into place on the metal work. Luckily nothing mechanical or no pipes were hit. The bloody hole was random as you like, and completely covered in long grass! No more stopping on grass!! And as for those bloody cows, I knew they were evil, and this has now confirmed it... look out for raincoat wielding cattle people, they're out to get you!!! After this shock I was happy to find my campsite for the night and settle in only 20 minutes later. After a hot shower and a bit of grub, I'm happy to laugh about the situation, heheh.

Tomorrow I will make the short trip south to the Able Tasman National Park where I'll see what day trips are available. I'm hoping to do some kayaking along the bay if possible, and judging by todays weather and seeing the bay for myself, I can't see it being a problem.

Pics from today are on facebook...

Tags: on the road, the great outdoors, walking




These blogs are brilliant - deffo a book in the making.
Glad to hear that you're fooking luvving it and look forward to reading more,
Take care
Beardie xxxx

  Kirsty May 19, 2008 9:24 AM


Cheers mate... they make me laugh, so hopefully someone else is laughing with me! ;-)

We'll have to have a good catch up when I return, keep a space in your diary for me!

  sl0ggs May 19, 2008 7:22 PM

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