As another stunning day at the Mohaka draws to a close we've been marveling at the lack of people walking past our front door. Five weeks parked along side the Mount Main Beach boardwalk has made us keen to get back to more isolated camping areas. We're seeing these magic spots through wondrous eyes again; how lucky are we to live in this wonderful country?
Although we're not entirely on our own here at Glenfalls. Bright and early just as the sun popped its head over the hill behind us and while there was still dew on the ground, we heard a whole lot of commotion this morning. Twenty or so kayakers from a school camp came running past us chanting and calling out, heading to the tents of another school camp further down the river. The second camp had only just surfaced as the first group ran around their tents whooping and shouting before running back to their kayaks...
...hauling them down to the water and climbing in....
....where they paddled into their groups with an instructor or two, and after a brief few words left to paddle downstream (yesterday they paddled down from the Mohaka Bridge on the Napier-Taupo Road to Glenfalls).
Today they were headed to Everetts DOC camp, another camp further down the river to haul out. Everetts is about 15 or so kms up the road. The group below were waiting for the first lot to pass through the rapids at the end of the camp, I couldn't see that they were waving at me until I moved the camera away form my eye. I thought I was being sneaky taking it from our door while they were looking the other way.
Both school groups were gone for most of the day and being a Friday, once they returned, it was all hands on deck to de-camped, pack the vehicles and head home.
After the kayakers disappeared downstream, leaving the deep pool just off the beach free and undisturbed, David thought he might just see if there was a fish or two lurking in there.
And while I was watching him throw his second or third cast... 'bang'...he hooked the biggest fish we've seen at Glenfalls, in fact one of the biggest trout we've seen for a long while. It leapt into the air and just as quick said 'bugger you' as it spat the dummy landing with a big splash back in the water. It must have been mighty pleased with itself as it leapt again and again as it swam off at speed down the river. No smoked trout for dinner tonight.
That piqued David's interest and he was straight back to the van, out with the waders, boots, net etc and he was off.
Hmmm.....not quite the fish we had in mind. Times two. Still no smoked trout for dinner.
I left him doing what he does best and went exploring further down to the other end of the camp.
I've never seen Glenfalls so green and so lush, spring is definitely in the air. And while I waited as David worked his way slowly up river, I watched so many different birds coming and going from the trees and nearby clay cliffs, building nests and collecting food; swallows, thrushes, black birds, sparrows, yellowhammer, kingfisher, tui, warblers and the highlight, a shining cuckoo. What busy little creatures they all are.
Now here is a photo that won't warm a fisherman's heart. Stock are a major problem around waterways in NZ and there is a big push to fence streams and rivers so cattle and sheep can't foul and damage the banks and riverbeds. This is the first time we've seen stock at Glenfalls and while there are just 4 heifers grazing through the DOC Camp their presence is everywhere, hoof prints and cow pats cover the entire area.
They are rather cute cows though, they've obviously been hand reared as they are quite friendly and inquisitive, taking grass from my hand and sniffing and checking out all the motorhomes and tents around the camp. This morning there were great big sandy hoof prints across our mat with big sandy smears on the table & in one of the chairs where one of them has licked and sniffed.
This afternoon they visited the neighbours...'Hello? Anybody home, coffee time, we have the milk?'.....or.... 'knock, knock, time to moooove along please'...
And here's us with the neighbours, we spent happy hour chasing the sun across the park. Although I think we got left behind in the end. And these aren't just any neighbours, these are very special neighbours.
Jo and John are from Palmerston North and arrived at Glenfalls not too long after us yesterday, they were here because of a blog Jo had read, a blog that just happened to be written by yours truly! They couldn't believe it when they pulled in and saw us here. And when David wandered across to say hello later in the afternoon, they were able to say before he could open his mouth, 'hello David, we know all about you and Shellie'. How cool is that. Or how scary.... ;)
And that's not all. Another couple in a hire camper pulled in this afternoon and while talking to David as he was fishing, mentioned that they'd seen us at the Mount a couple of weeks ago. They now have a link to my blog and a few more tips on what to see in the South Island when they head there next week.
Maybe we're not quite as isolated as we thought...