Saturday, 23 February 2013
With such a beautiful day shaping up Chelsea suggested that we go to Tauranga for the afternoon and collect a couple of caches at the same time. Of course I was keen for that.
It was a pretty quick drive to the Mount even with two diversions. We stopped in at Hobbiton to collect a cache. I was amazed at how many people were there, and willing to pay $75 to go to the shire. Not being that rich or commited to the hobbit we carried on to the beach.
While at the Mount we had lunch and tried to find a park to get to the beach. It was nuts. There were people everywhere and with the sun shining who could blame them.
We grabbed a couple of quick caches and even got the 2 virtuals that are located at Tauranga.
The trip home was long and very slow with a massive section of the road having roadworks and the traffic reduced to a crawl.
Saturday, 16 February 2013
For a long time now I have been wanting to go to Kawhia and collect the 3 kayak caches that are scatters around the harbour. I had a phone call from Steve, middle of the week, explaining he was planning on heading out on Saturday to collect them and did I want to join. There was no way I was missing out on this opportunity.
Saturday morning came around fast enough and I found myself crawling out of bed at 6.00. I had to get my lunch and water ready as well as a change of clothes. I have had some bad luck with forgetting this so placed all my items at the door, double checked then tripple checked that I was ready.
Steve turned up at 7.00 with Jane and we set off for, what will turn out to be, a long tiresome day.
Our first cache for the day saw the three of us walking around a point just before the harbour. It was a nice stroll and only had to dodge the sticky, slippery mud.
The second cache was one that we really wanted to get. It hadn't been found in over 12months. We parked and walking along a new scenic track. There has been a lot of time and money spent fencing off the sand dunes and placing some lovely picnic tables. It was a little bit hard going as walking in the sand is always going to be a workout for the calves. On the walk to GZ we meet a lady who was on her way to see her husband. Apparently there is good fishing to be had at the mouth of the harbour. On the walk she told us about the rock falls and slips that have recently occurred and how the sand levels can rise and fall my a couple of metres. We had to carefully say good by as we reached GZ. Once she had walked off we began the search and found the cache within seconds. It wasn't even covered. Signing the log and noting that the last finder was back in January 2012 was a great feeling. We stayed at GZ for a little while enjoying the views before heading back to the car.
After collecting all the drive by caches in the area it was time to unload the kayaks and set off on the journey to collect the 3 caches located on the different islands scattered around the Kawhia Harbour.
We had a quick chat as to what was going to be the best direction to go and we decided, while we had lots of energy to head against the wind and tide to start with. With the first island just a speck in the distance I knew it was going to be a long slog. Jane and I just knuckled down and begun the paddle to the island. It was hard work and there was a lot of water splashing over the bow... but luckily Jane stopped most of it before it got to me.
After a long paddle we finally found ourselves landing on the island. The plan had been to paddle right to GZ but with sore arms and 1km to go as the crow flies, and about 3km kayaking we decided to leave the kayaks on the beach and walk. There is always a little bit of apprehension arriving at a cache that has taken so much effort to get to .. will I find it or wont I?
Today was my luckily day as it only took a minute of searching before we had the cache in hand and were signing the log book. A quick walk back to the kayaks and we were paddling to the next cache. It was a lot easier as this time we were going with the wind and tide.
Our next cache was located at a place named pancake rock. We had a good idea as to what the island would look like, and on the way we paddled past many rock formations that looked like pancakes stacked on top of each other. By this stage we were stating to ach with the sun leaving its mark on our shoulders. Several times we asked ourself why the cache owner hadn't placed it closer. Eventually we found ourselves pulling up at a beach with pancake rocks all around. I took some time to take a couple of pictures while Jane and Steve began the search. They kept looking around a stack and I heard a couple of french words cry out from behind some off the bushes. Wanting to get a better view of the area I saw a path to the top of the island. Climbed to the top and was rewarded with a set of great views and a cache.
The last cache for the day was a quick paddle of only 600m. The third cache for the kayak and a third find. It was great to get it even if I wasn't allowed to start the search. Having found all the caches for the day the others told me to wait and give them a chance to search. Glad to find another cache using the kayak.
We then had to start the long and hard paddle back to the car. After a full day in the sun paddling, our arm were already sore. There was no option but to paddle. With heads down and distracting myself by reading my drink bottle over and over again I noticed the car getting closer... ever so slowly. Im not going to lie and say it was easy. I was definity starting to tire and off in the distance I spotted a small island to rest on. Asked Jane if she wanted to stop there and was given a quick nod. Arriving at the island I stared to weigh up the options of living here. With only shells and bird poop it was decided to keep on. Arriving at the car was amazing. I would compare it to Captain Cook landing on New Zealand for the first time. He also must have come to hate the boat that was his prison and his saviour.
In total we paddled 17km in a little over 5 hours. Another day that I will not forget quickly. Thanks Geocaching??
Wednesday, 13 February 2013
Its the final book in the power of 5 series and one that I had been waiting for for a long time. It was 668 pages long and one of the longest stories that I have ever had to read. I wasn't looking forward to the length but definitely wanted to know what happened to the characters and the fate of the world.
Horowitz has an amazing ability to build up a story and create an atmosphere where the reader wants to find out what happens. The suppence had me not wanting to put the book down. Even though the book followed several main characters it was easy to follow each of them on their journey.
With the end of the book approaching I was looking forward to an amazing ending and was unfortunately let down. Where there should have been an amazing fight scene or battle I was like a kid at christmas with a half empty stocking.... Let down by the big guy.
Tuesday, 5 February 2013
Its been a long time since I've updated the blog. When I think back there hasn't really been any one event that has been worth blogging but there has been quite a few small events that have their own importance.
School started 2 weeks ago. Both Chelsea and I are pleased to be back at work and have some great kids in the class. As always there is plenty of work that needs to be done. My class is still pretty small with only 22 students turning up on average. Apparently there are a couple more that I'm suppose to be getting but they are just taking their time.
Went to my first CITO (Cache In Trash Out) event last weekend. Now I have been to a couple before but none that were actually about cleaning up or improving the environment. This CITO was all about restoring Lake Surpintine. I planted several native trees, collected lots of stakes and picked up some rubbish. It was a beautiful day and I had a lot of fun.
Today is Waitangi Day and I'm just sitting in the lounge taking a break from my new book. I brought it the other day and am just over half way.. thats pretty good for me considering its 700 pages long. Now with a public holiday it would have been rude not to go out and collect a cache. Chelsea and I climbed half way up the Hikiromata range in Ngaruawhahia. I was so impressed that Chelsea got all the way to the cache. At about the half way mark she was feeling sick and decided to wait. I headed up as quick and I could but to my suprise, just as I was headed down she appeared.
So as you can see nothing to major just lots of little events.
Im sure that there will be some HUGE changes coming... but its just a matter of waiting.