Date: March 17th
Swell: small E
Wind: Light Variable winds
Camp: Tokumaru Bay
Meal: Greasy Burgers and strawberry white chocolate cheesecake dessert, at the Te Puka Tav
Impression: yummy, great bun, good patty, lots of chips, awesome price of $7.50. Cheese cake yummy, great serving size, with yummy hokey pokey ice cream! Nothing fancy just good carbs and fat for body recovery and energy!
Stars 8 out of 10
We awake early to a cool wet dew soaked morning, Dave has been up early huddled in his jacket, typing on the computer. I get up at about 6.45 run down to the beach to get some pictures in the great morning light, then we go about our daily routine of packing up, making breakfast, filling water bottles, selecting snack and choc bars for the day. Sitting and watching the lovely waves we eventually push out into the break. Dave miss time a little and gets caught with his skirt undone just as a wave curls over on top of him, he paddles hard into it and gets through, though needs to pump out, out behind the breakers. I pick up his fishing real, which came loose during the encounter.
Then we are off, another stunning day, another fair distance to travel, the weather gods just keep smiling on us, as usual the scenery is stunning, though at one point, sitting quite far out from shore, the still glassy water, the ever so slightly moving coast, drove my mind mental. “SO BLOODY TEDIOUS!” “WHEN WILL IT END?” I yell.
Dave looks at me puzzeled “you were just saying yesterday how much you loved the change in scenery!” I don’t answer him as he has missed the point and I paddle of closer to shore to take in the cliffs. Much better, the static unmoving environment on such a day does your head in, you feel like you are going nowhere Fast.
The cliffs along this coast are amazing you feel like paddling as close to them as you possibly can, though cannot always do that. After a fair slog of a day, eating and peeing while in the boats all day, we start looking for a camp, we spot an stunning little cove, steep sided remote, full of native forest with a beautiful little beach at the head of it, we head in envisioning a pristine little spot with no one around. As we get closer I notice movement in the trees. People!! They vanish, did I see right?
They appear again, and I instantly think Marijuana Grow Op and go to turn to tell Dave we should leave, when the two chaps bowl out of the bush into full view come down to the shore and sit and wait for us to come in. I am still not sure, and to top it off there are quite large waves dumping on the beach. If we are to land and find ourselves in trouble with these boys, it would be a hard leave. Not one to think the worst of people, I had to go on gut with this one, and also ask Dave, in the end we decided to move on, not sure we had just missed out on the worst time of our life or the best, after all it could have been a couple of great characters hunting pig and we could have sat around and shared stories all night, who knows.
I stopped to film a bit on the way out, and while filming a set of waves snuck up on me, I looked up just in time to see one come and just pass under me, while the next was going to smash me. I shoved the camera in its case , rolled it shut just in time for the wave to hit me and take me for a quick bucking ride sideways across a small reef, I pulled of eventually and had to paddle through the next large wave behind the one that had me, and out I got again. The camera survived despite me not quite getting its container sealed properly. Definitely gave me a rush.
It was already 4.45pm and we pushed on another 4 NM to the next Bay, Tokumaru bay, and found and awesome big bight bay with stunning cliffs fringing the opening. We paddled up to some folk fishing on the dock to ask where to camp, they directed us down the bay to where the Tavern was and said we could camp on the lawn next to it if we asked the owner. So off we went and pulled up in front of the Te Puka Tav.
Straight away we were a novelty and when I told everyone what we were doing and that we needed a place to camp, we were welcomed with open arms, by Greg the Australian owner and Peter and Carolyn the managers. “Sure you can camp on the lawn no worries” and as we brought up gear and boats, with help from some keen local kids, Peter and Carolyn offer us a room. Dave is keen and though the photo ops of our tent next to the pub was good, I sided with Dave and excepted the modest two bedroom room with on suite. The boats where put round back where they could be locked up for the night out of the way.
That night we ate with new found friends, drank some great beer, talked to the local newspaper reporter, and just enjoyed the place. The Burgers were a delicious treat and the cheesecake for dessert awesome; we went simple and cheep, though there were plenty of other awesome meals to choose from. The views from this tavern are amazing; it has been recently renovated to a clean family atmosphere. This is a very unique little place for sure and the people superb, down to earth and real, yet another awesome little find.