Friday, 24 January 2014

Surprise!

Not long after taking the reflection photos in the previous post David got a text from Rachel asking what the weather was like after the sunny day yesterday. We sent back that there was cloud cover but it looked like it would burn off and more importantly that there was no wind! Back came a reply- "We're on our way, see you in an hour" And so after saying our big farewells yesterday and in less than an hour the family arrived on our doorstep (literally)  to set up camp! What a wonderful surprise it was & finally after all our weather woes we got the chance to camp together, albeit for one night only.


Ollie & Ruby were so excited,  Ollie especially as Poppa had skyped the night before & had shown him the tyre swing in the tree beside us. It was the first thing they both raced for.

Panoramic view of the reserve
After setting up camp and with the tide going out we decided to walk around to the point beside the mouth of the estuary. 

Hubcap Heaven- cribs at the end of the road

A woman had arrived just after the family in her horse float with two dogs & a horse on board and it turned out that Rachel knew her from work. Irene frequently came to this reserve to stay; she is friends with the neighbouring farm owners and rides over their farm & she told us that there were often sealions & seals on the rocks at the point. We didn't find any on this walk but we later saw a sealion pulling itself out of the water and up into the dunes on the far side of the estuary near the mouth. The tide was on its way in so we weren't able to check it out, plus it would have been another long walk back across the soft sandflats.

 

 
Looking back across the tidal sand flats towards the camp. The estuary reaches around the trees in the middle and would be another 3 rimes this size. The sand was fairly firm to walk on although there were a few soft patches.
Poppa leads the way around a rocky patch

The estuary mouth & Haldane Bay, Catlins


At the rocky point there was plenty of bull kelp growing on the rocks & swirling back & forward in the tidal surge.
  
 
Heading for home
But not before a slide in the sand
 
By mid-afternoon the sun made an appearance & after a bite to eat we took the kids down to the water for a swim. Well, a paddle & a play on the boogie boards. Dad got a good workout running back & forward skimming them across the water.




Back at the camp & getting ready for a BBQ dinner we were in for another lovely surprise. The family from the farm had been on an outing to Curio Bay for the afternoon & especially to get a fish 'n chip dinner from the well-known caravan that plies it trade there during the summer. They called in for a visit on their way home. And so once again, as well as saying goodbye to them yesterday, we said another hello!
 
 
And I have to report that after this post on free range eggs & this one on the state of the bread in Invercargill I had two indignant women on my hands. Firstly Darnelle was most put out that I was having trouble finding good free-range eggs and so no prizes for guessing what she arrived with, a carton of fresh free-range eggs straight from their chooks to our pan! And at a day or two old, the only way you could get fresher than these would be to hold the frypan underneath as the hens laid them! So thankyou very much Mrs Chicken (& friends) & the family too! I knew I took a photo of one of the hens at Christmas for a reason...... :)


And secondly, I forgot to mention the wonderful freshly baked bread that Rachel ha made for us many times while we were in Invercargill and as if to reiterate this fact she sent us away on Monday with a lovely warm loaf to enjoy when we got to camp. There's nothing quite like the smell of freshly baked bread wafting through the house and  it's intensified greatly in the small space of the fifth-wheeler so every time we opened the door on the way up the coast we got a promise of things to come.


After the BBQ there was a discussion on who was going to tidy up with David saying to count him out as he had cooked the sausages. This provided me with the opportunity of fishing out this little item that I have kept for many years on a scruffy sheet of paper in my keepsakes. I had actually lost it for quite awhile and only came by it again when I was packing up the house. Never a truer word said!

A Mans Barbecue-
Definition of Outdoor Barbecuing: It's the only type of cooking a "real" man will do: when a man volunteers to do the cooking, the following chain of events is put into motion.

1) The woman goes to the store.
2) The woman fixes the salad, vegetables & dessert.
3) The woman prepares the meal for cooking, places it on a tray along with the necessary cooking utensiles, and takes it to the man, who is lounging beside the grill, drinking a beer.
4) The man places the meat on the grill.
5) The woman goes inside to set the table & check the vegetables.
6) The woman comes out to tell the man that the meat is burning.
7) The man takes the meat off the grill & hands it to the woman.
8) The woman prepares the plates & brings them to the table.
9) After eating, the woman clears the table & does the dishes.
10) The guests congratulate the man for his excellent cooking & he takes a bow.
11) The man asks the woman how she enjoyed "her night off". And, upon seeing her annoyed reaction, concludes that there's just no pleasing some women.

 

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