Saturday, February 9, 2008

Short Ride. Fresh Free Snapper. Blokes Camp.

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It was a short ride today, just under 30km with a couple of "moderate" hills from Opotiki to Hawai. The next practical stop would be Te Kaha at 70km from Opotiki with several more hills in between, including a 200m high one just after here (my morning exercise tomorrow--or will it be morning torture?)

If the small hills from Opotiki to here are considered moderate (and there are "hard" ones ahead), I'm going to be doing a lot of walking in the next 300km.

I am obviously carrying too much. I certainly seem to have too much food. I think it is time for a rethink there. When I left this morning there was a heavy stuff sack of food in the BOB bag (the heaviest item in the bag by far), and I had both panniers filled with food. At least I will have a big salad with dinner to reduce the fresh stuff. Also, too many cans, I think, among other things.

I was going to make pasta with a Salmon-based sauce for dinner, which would eliminate two cans, but as soon as I got my tent set up, the fellow in the bach behind me came over with fresh snapper fillets for my dinner. I've had three other fisherman offer fresh-caught snapper since.

About the camp--The amenities are a bit rustic, by the toilets and showers are clean. The kitchen could be a bit cleaner. Since most of the campers here either have caravans or set up big tents, I expect that the kitchen is not heavilty used except at the peak season.

The grounds are actually quite nice, with trees and little gardens. there is a row of "baches" along the back of the camp which have been here a while. They started out as caravans, but have morphed into buldings. The one owned by the fellow who gave me the fish is a log cabin, with the original caravan totally within the walls.

Most of the baches seem to be owned by blokes with wives who come along, as they have some really nice little gardens in front of them.

There is another section of the camp which is basically a circle of caravans with tent porches. This seems to be a bloke's haven. Unlike some of the holiday parks we've seen this isn't overrun with permanent caravans. There is much more open space than permanent space.

The section above seems to consist of old blokes without their wives. There is another section of caravans for young blokes.

I got an early start this morning. I was out of the park in Opotiki by 8:15, which meant that I was here by 10:30.

I took a fair number of photos on the way here as the coast is really interesting. I also took a walk along the beach here, accompanied by the usual Oyster catchers (actually they were ahead of me and kept walking away). White Island is right in front of my tent, although pretty far out on the horizon (it was closer in Whakatane). It doesn't seem particularly active at the moment.

The camp seems especially dog friendly. The managers have several, as do some of the campers. The managers have a Jack Russell bitch with two really cute puppies (still nursing). She's quite protective of them. Fortunately, I'm way too over weight in my baggage to abscond with one of them.

The manager is a retired DOC "pest control" specialist. When I think pests, I think insects. His (DOCs) pests are deer, wild pig, wild cattle and possum. In fact, he shot a deer just yesterday that had wandered down into the river next to the camp. Two Maori Blokes pointed it out to him as they were heading into Opotiki, so he just dressed it out and gave the meat to them on there way back to Te Kaha. He said that he's tired of venison at this point and would prefer a good steak. I asked him if the wild cattle provide good meat -- "Only after the dogs have chewed on it awhile". Wild pig is quite good though. Hmm, I'll bet a wild boar prosciutto would be quite tasty.

It's that kind of place.

A fish story--It is a true story. I saw the pictures in the sporting goods store in Opotiki.

The point just off Hawai is excellent fishing and has Marlin. This fellow was fishing off the point with 37lb line and caught an enormous Marlin (I think I remember the article saying it was 638kg (about 1400lb)). Not only did he catch it on fairly light tackle, but he was fishing from a 14' tinnie (think aluminum skiff). The fish was considerably longer than the boat and almost as wide. Another larger fishing boat had to come over to tow it back to Opotiki for him. It was as large as the larger boat and was at least half in the water when it was being towed.

Well, it's nearly time to make dinner, pan-fried Snapper and a salad. It is into the hills tommorrow.

Today's Photos:

1 comment:

joans said...

Do you have a contact phone no fo rthe Hawai Camp