Sleeping in the campervan has most definitely gotten better and better with each passing night. This morning we woke up early to get a head start on the day, unfortunately it started with a wee bit of an accident… damn fence jumped out at me as we were leaving the campsite. Praise the Lord for ‘No Liability’ also, that no one was hurt.
On our way we took a stretch break at the Pelorus Bridge, gorgeous little river with a pebble beach and probably some of the clearest water I have ever seen. It was like glass it was so calm, so we disrupted it by taking a bit of a dip ☺ We decided to pretty much just breeze on through Nelson, with it basically being a port city there was not much to see. We did stop in Motueka to visit their i-site (tourist center) and to walk around the town. Had our first meal of fish-n-chips, very good but reeeeall greasy AND wrapped up in a package-like fashion? Strange. Since their ketchup is so different from ours I had to have my fish without :/ definitely a tough adjustment for this gal. For dessert we walked down the street for some fresh fruit ice cream; meaning they actually take straight up fresh fruit and blend it into their ice cream, genius.
On the road again, this time we were heading to Takaka, which quickly proved, to be the best place we’ve visited thus far. Our first stop was to the Te Waikoropupu or just Pupu Springs, contrary to the name they are actually the cleanest freshwater springs on earth (straight from Antarctica) and are 11.2 degrees Celsius, you do the math. They are sacred to the Maori people of NZ, used as a blessing in ceremonies and thus are off limits to grimy tourist fingers.
Next stop; The Grove, the eeriest and most fascinating place I have ever been. I don’t even know what to call it, you feel as if you are inside a rock but there are trees everywhere that are twisting around one another making very unnatural configurations. It is dark and kind of musty but so elegant in a creepy way? …Obviously extremely hard to describe.
Finally we trekked out to Wainui Falls, the drive to the falls was…to say the least…edge of your seat exciting. There had been several mud slides in the area just before Christmas (the cause of which still unknown). Not only did the road twist and turn through the mountains but there were several sections of the road that were now longer there reducing it to one lane. Not gonna lie, I was a little uneasy but figured the falls would be worth it! I have never seen damage like on that drive, a house had straight up been washed away down the mountain and was sitting right next to the road, the mud slide had ripped directly through their roof. When we finally got to the falls the paths were not quite as clearly mapped out as they had been before…they actually weren’t really mapped out at all. Because of the mudslide there were several sections that were completely gone leaving us to meander our own way around fallen trees, huge piles of mud, and soooo much debris. I have never experienced a hike that intense and I loved every second of it. The walk is typically supposed to take about 20 mins to reach the fall, we did it in an hour and it was still so so worth it! The waterfall was spectacular! Just standing on the rocks you could feel the refreshing mist, I literally just sat in awe of its beauty. Definitely was a great reminder to stop and thank God for all that He provides.
We are staying at a Holiday Park tonight, a little too expensive for my tastes but I fiiiiinally get a shower, a hot shower :) On to Golden Bay/Farewell Spit in the morning!