Monday, 18 March 2013

We survived..

…but not without a few more grey hairs & white knuckles.

We actually managed to get out of the Tapu Creek Campground without too much drama in the end. We removed a couple of marker posts(which we’ve only just remembered we never put back!) and squeezed down the drive alongside the semi-permanent vans. I walked ahead directing (I’m good at that J) and holding back a couple of overhanging branches with the broom. Sweet! So now we can recommend “big rigs OK” at Tapu Creek.
The rain started just as we got back to the coast road, welcome rain, very welcome heavy rain to a totally parched peninsula but not welcome by some newbies manoeuvring their rig up an extremely narrow & winding road with the ocean waves beckoning from the bottom of the cliffs just out the passenger’s side window. So nervous & bumpy the shots out of focus but you get the idea.



We took our time and with little traffic on the road behind us we didn’t need to worry about slowing people up too much & when a car or two did catch up to us we did as all good motorhoming people should; pulled over at out earliest convenience to let them through (& remove the pressure from our driver) We had a couple of very tight blind corners where we had to stop to let approaching vehicles through but they were made easier by the large convex mirrors set up so you could see around the corner. Because it was raining most had their lights on which reflected very well in the mirrors.
We were intending to stop at a NZMCA (lowcost) park over property just before Coromandel township but we couldn’t touch base with the owners and then when we saw, in the pouring rain, the very steep farm driveway that dropped off the road down to a secluded bay we decided to carry on to Coromandel township. We’ve since spoken to the owners & will be going back there for a few days before continuing on to Colville.
Long Bay Campground, Coromadel Town
We are now parked up at the Long Bay Camping ground just around the harbour from the town. It’s a lovely bay although we’ve had a mixed bag of weather since arriving, hot & humid sun after that initial rain, now torrential rain & and an onshore sou’wester that’s been buffeting the van for all of last night & most of today. Talk about being rocked to sleep!
The view out the window
It’s given us time to catch up on work (for David) & on the blog & photos for me, although our internet is very intermittent. We are using our mobiles as “hot spots” and they tend to fade in and out on a whim. I have the feeling the further up we go the less likely we’ll be able to get reception.

Yesterday we went for a tiki-tour around to Te Kouma where the Auckland-Coromandel ferry comes in and also the mussel barges are unloaded. Coromandel is well known for the green lipped mussel farms that dot the harbours and bays along the coast.

The ferry leaves from here for Auckland
We stopped for lunch at the Mussel Kitchen, I had mussel chowder & David, battered mussels & while they were both nice enough & good value they weren’t a patch on my very popular mussel dish which I serve often, mussels steamed with garlic, ginger, chilli sauce, lemon zest, spring onions & coriander with a large dash of wine thrown in for good measure.

 
Here at Long Bay there are a couple of short walks over to another bay & up to a kauri grove where there is a monster kauri left from the logging days of past. A few dozen smaller examples are trying their best to catch up. I practiced some of my camera skills & tried a bit of impressionist art (done in camera not with photoshop)

The Monster Kauri
 

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