After I posted the pictures from Box Canyon Cave, I finally had the chance to look at Elijah’s phone. He had more pictures I wanted to use! The first two show one of the spiders the caves in that area are famous for, and one of their egg cases dangling from the ceiling of a cave. The other is a fossilized clam in the wall of a cave. Apparently there were a lot of fossils in areas I didn’t get to.
This is a picture from Esther’s camera, from the Mirror Tarn/Moria Gate Arch walk. It was near the end of the walk. I loved James peeking around the tree, and Miss Joy marching on down the track!
That evening, we went out to the beach for a cookout. With two 4WDs, we could get right out on the sand, which makes it easy to transport everything for a picnic. The only thing we didn’t have was forks and spoons for our potato salad, because I forgot that box!
Miss Joy needed some time to play by herself. She felt secure, because she was surrounded by her family, but she was definitely in her own world here, digging in the sand. She gets overstimulated very easily, and needs downtime like this.
After our cookout, we enjoyed the sunset, and then headed back to our campground. This picture is looking up the Karamea River.
Looking across the estuary.
I took this without being able to see what I was looking at, back over the top of the ute, while we were stopped waiting to pick up a boy who had been swimming up river a bit from our picnic site.
We took a day off the next day and hung around the campground. Some people went fishing in the river. Mr. Imagination caught an eel at some stage, skinned it and cooked it for breakfast the next morning. He decided he won’t be doing that again!
Some of us walked out to the estuary. It was a gorgeous day! This is the Karamea River, next to the campground.
The campground, from the stopbank. Just past the campervan in the foreground is the caravan we borrowed, and you can see Simon’s ute beside it.
The estuary by day. What I didn’t get a picture or video of was someone waterskiing, being pulled by a quad bike running along the edge of the water! I had never heard of such a thing before.
Over the course of three afternoons, we played a marathon game of chicken foot dominoes, all the way from double 15 down to double 0. It was fun–but quite a mission!
While most of the family watched a movie in the camper that evening, I went for a walk with the younger ones who also weren’t interested, and we walked along the stopbank in the sunset light. Someone made a basket with willow bark, and Little Miss was showing it to me.
On our last full day, we drove all the way to the end of the road. There is a DOC campground there, at the beginning of the Heaphy Track. We wanted to find a place to build a fire on a beach and roast some flounder Elijah caught. It rained most of the way up there, and signs at the DOC camp said no fires allowed, so we turned around and went back to where he had caught the fish. This was some of the scenery on the way up. We had already had quite an exciting morning. Part of the family was supposed to clean the fish while Simon and I ran to the little local supermarket for what we needed for cooking the fish. We got there and the heavens opened. We got drenched to the point of dripping just running across the street and into the shop! It was still raining when we were finished, so we raced across again and went into the Information Centre to look around while we waited for the rain to let up. While there, Esther called me and asked me to get something to repair a leak in the camper. When the rain let up slightly, we went to the local hardware to get it. Then, she called again and said to get a tarp–the rain was pouring into the camper! We were all glad she and Mom had been inside it when the rain started, or we would really have had a mess.
This is where Elijah had set the flounder net. It’s another estuary. See the boys in a line? That is where the net was; they were pulling more fish out of it. They pulled the net out, then, and spent the next few hours mending it. We baked seven flounder in foil packets over the coals of our fire, with lemon slices on each side of them. Delicious!
This was a rock someone found at this beach. So pretty!