The forecast was fantastic for the best part of the next week. My thinking was I had to be near a nice beach and it had to be northwards. With the holiday weekend approaching, I thought I might be lucky getting a park at Bland Bay but thought, I’ll give it a go.
Click on an image to see Hi Res or a slideshow
After 50ks odd of winding road around the Whangaruru Bay, I arrived at the Bland Bay Camp. In the office was manager Wayne who couldn’t do enough for me and even though I’d just walked in off the street, made me very welcome and even found a waterfront site for the night. If I wanted to stay longer, I’d have to move one back which was fantastic.
I’d just plugged in Rafe, opened vents and settled things down and then went for a walk (5 steps to the beach) to get a piccy with my phone for Facebook.
No sooner had I posted it when several old colleagues from my days at the Herald as a photographer, reminded me to be on my best behaviour as another ex photographer Ross lived here. Several suggested I look him up and found the address. An hour later, I’d found Ross in his kitchen preparing Veges for his freezer. In his early 70’s, he’s a picture of health, fit as a buck rat living off his huge vege garden and the fish he catches in the bay and loving it. He’s just the same and it was great to see him.
I’d just got back to Rafe when a face popped in the door with a platter of Tuna with two sauces inviting me to try them out. This was Derek who I later had a drink with and his wife June by their bus further down the waterfront. A lovely couple who have been living aboard for 2 years or more. Derek was in the Army for 20 odd years and he knew a few people that people in my family knew so we had plenty to talk about. A great evening.
The next day I moved Rafe back a parking space and found myself next to Terry and Louise with their grandson Max in their Dethleffs Sunlight. I spent most the day nattering to them and lazing in the sun. I really wanted to go for a swim but with a cool onshore breeze and the water being so cold, couldn’t quite get there.. One day soon :-).
Later in the afternoon there was a lot of excitement when Derek and his friends in a 26 foot odd runabout with half cabin had returned to the beach with what turned out to be a 149kg Marlin. Huge excitement and it was later put next to Derek’s bus and packed in ice for all to see. Amazing.
After another day with Fiona having finished work and she was going to drive up and join me. Shops or beach I asked her.. It didn’t matter she said so Wayne managed to squeeze us in for two more nights and she arrived later in the morning.
This camp really is spectacular. Right on the beach sheltered by another peninsula, it is just a lovely. Although several people asked me not to rave about this place as they wanted to keep it for themselves :-), it really is special. At $22 pp powered, in peak season with nice loos and showers ($1 shot), a dump station, UV treated bore water and a good internet signal, it doesn’t get much better.
One more day in paradise before we move on!
The Netspeed Speed test
Download: 18.16 Mbps
Upload: 4.71 Mbps
Ping: 56 ms
Rafes Track to Bland Bay