A rare bit of humour this morning. It’s Grey and windy and fellow campers are wrapping their arms about them as they move from tent to car to pull out extra layers.

It looks like Wales. My companion quips ‘ well you wanted to see one’. We ….laugh…… well he does and I think of all the wonderful things we have seen (no live whales yet).

We decide to walk the Waipu Cove Walk. Once again there is a particular specific scent that scratches my brain. I know it but can’t name it. It reminds me of other holidays. Then we find it – a fig tree…

And look at all the other flowers within 20 steps of the entrance to the camp site:

Jasmine I think. Again a wonderful scent.

Are these ‘secretary bird’ flowers? They should be!

Doesn’t everyone’s garage look like this?

There are huge swathes of agapanthus on the point of flowering throughout the north island. You can almost hear the buds stretching.

This white one has made it.

The walk signs do not hold back. ‘Good level of fitness required’ it says, showing examples of the sort of terrain we may well encounter.

Having prepared well: hit (hat for those who haven’t got used to the nz vowels yet, but read later), butties, water, apples, raincoats and last minute liquorice purchase we start confidently only to find we have to Ford the stream at the outset. It’s only about 2m wide. No probs.

First point of interest: New word. Riparian. My companion doesn’t seem to know for sure what this means so indulges me and takes a photo whereupon two men stop to talk. Ah, riparian says one. That’s to do with the access to the coast from the land. Some discussion follows about its precise meaning in English law, one of us having up to date knowledge on this.

The two men are out checking the traps. Part of a country wide ‘crowdfunded’ or rather crowd organised approach to try and rid the country of stoats and rats and therefore encourage the recrudescence of the kiwi national birds including the kiwi itself.

Apparently ‘you guys’, Keith and I, presumably representing the whole of the UK, introduced rabbits to feed ourselves, then stoats to kill the rabbits but the stoats ate the nz indigenous birds’ eggs, and the birds, many of whom were flightless. So ridding the country of stoats and rats should help the native bird population to increase. I get this.

I don’t get it being ‘we guys’ though – the people we spoke to were direct descendants of the early settlers, so maybe the trouble was with their ancestors, not with us? Just a thought.

NZ only had two mammals originally – both bats. The idea is to rid the country of all mammals (except sheep, dogs, cows, llamas, horses – and humans….).

Bruce on the right was carrying a bag of bait – pieces of salted rabbit. Simon, on the left, is apparently great at killing and dismembering the rabbits. They live in Auckland and come to Waipu about once a month.

They spoke at some length about increasing numbers of hicthares. K and I pictured a small rodenty/deery sort of animal and asked further questions to fill in said animal’s sketchy outline. Aha! The NZ vowel again. It’s hectares. They were talking about increasing areas of land thought to be stoat free.

Btw, Bruce needs to get a ‘hit’. Just saying.

A pleasant walk with thoughtfully provided small benches:

On closer inspection we find it’s not so perfect:

A trap.

Bait.

Warnings of poison.

My fitness wasn’t up to scratch as I managed to walk into low tree trunks crossing the path four times, each time making a loud thwack noise WITH MY HEAD. Maybe that will knock some sense into it?

There were ENTs, too.

The path was every bit as exciting as promised, with fairly precipitous drops to the coast, large rocks to clamber over, huge trunks to scale, and steel hawsers to support us in our endeavours. But the beach was worth it. Great place for a butty.

No-one swimming, and although Keith is better than he was since he got his buoyant trunks (!), I still wouldn’t trust my life to his lifeguardly front crawl. I paddled instead.

And Lordy Lordy when we finished the walk the tide had come in – the stream was several metres wide on our return. Can you imagine? One routinely has to Ford the river before embarking on walk.

It’s said that there are seven versions of ourselves spread around the world. Last Sunday I found my friend Fran living in Clarence as Lynda.

Today I found my daughter’s boyfriend, JC, running a rather excellent restaurant: Newquay JC

Waipu JC

Same mannerisms. Creepy (to find double. JC NOT CREEPY.)

The resto was good last night but was visited during the 26 hour stereo tantrum. Repeat visit tonight to appreciate the food more: hope they’re not too terrified to let us in!

Update: food excellent.

Starter: squid with lemon aioli. And side of garlic bread.

Mains: fish and chips (k). Batter is tempura.

Spinach gnocchi with portobello mushrooms

And home grown broccolini (but they didn’t have enough so had to add asparagus) (shame) and macadamia nuts.

And coffee.

New words: riparian

Endangered species: we both survived the night after the tantrum

Kindness: they let us back into the Cove restaurant. Thanks!!!

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