2. Finally, off we go…sort of!

It’s time to leave Eryl’s place, where we’ve been staying for the past half year while we prepared to leave on our journey. We cooked a barbecue which was a really nice way to celebrate the end of our time there. We’ll miss you, Eryl!

After driving and parking the caravan up on our own section in Rai Valley we drove into Blenheim for a day of work from Kevin’s sister running a waterslide at the Christmas Party Talleys were holding for the families of it’s workers. Fun!! There were a few of the same children on the waterslide for practically the whole day, except when the food was called – even then, they were quickly back – such water babies!! It was a nice surprise to see our niece and her three boys there!

Back in Rai Valley we got stuck into getting the rest of our stuff out of the shed on the section and preparing to sell up. Kevin replaced both the blade and the battery on the ride on mower for the new owners and did a lot of mowing and weedeating of patches of grass difficult to reach with the mower. I weeded around some of the trees and did some preparation exercise by walking up Mt Barratt each day and…you guessed it…took two days out to complete my walk of Marlborough.

It’s done now, and I’m buzzed!! On both of the two days I parked my car and walked each part in both directions. The first day was from Linkwater garage to Anakiwa and back; and the second day was from Anakiwa to Mistletoe Bay and back, with a side trip up to Onahau Lookout.

These photos show some of what I saw between Linkwater garage and Anakiwa:

And these ones show aspects of the trip between Anakiwa and Mistletoe Bay/Onahau Lookout:

On the way home of the first day of walking I stopped at two shops in Havelock (one was the i-site) to ask the meaning of Mahakipawa (which if you remember I walked around last week en route from Havelock to Linkwater. Neither knew which surprised me. I googled it at home, and came up with mahaki – blight or rash; and pawa – smoke used to heal someone. So that just whets my appetite for the whole story! Maybe it’s to do with sandfly bites. While researching, I did end up reading quite a bit about Mahakipawa Arm, Havelock and Rai Valley on The Prow. Here’s the link to this website if you’re interested; it’s got a lot of history – both Maori and European – of the top of the South Island: http://www.theprow.org.nz/

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