After brekky Neil and I decide to go for a little walk, armed with a mud map we start out and only get 5 mins up the road and we see out in the ocean white water, then we hear a boom so we stop and realise that it must be a whale jumping so watching the sea trying to spot the whale(s) we were rewarded with a little display
All day yesterday we watched the sea for splashes and tried really hard to get it on movies and in a photo … very difficult to do! We gave up in the end and just enjoyed the display.But today it was magical … I can now say officially that I have seen a whale (Seaworld whales don’t count). Not sure how many are in the pod out in the bay.
We head towards Tom Block lookout and see that the clouds are really moving in but we could still see St Pauls Pool which is where you swim except for when the ocean is coming up and over the existing rocks!
From here we head through Aute Valley which is where they local tennis courts are which consist of an open grassed field with a volleyball net! Walking around this Tatrimoa road there are some fabulous tent sites and since the wind is coming from the west today and it is on the east side of the island the camp spots are perfect as they are out of the wind!We do come across a ‘duncan’ which is the word for long drop/toilet.
They are marked on the map which is used to encourage tourists to walk. The Aute Valley is easy to walk with the road predominantly grassed.About half way round the road climbs and becomes dirt. By the time we get to the top it is clouded in and we can’t see the ocean so we continue walking along McCoys’ valley road to Taro Ground which is where the old radio station use to be. The building and machines are still there but it is now used as a weather station by NZ … not for forecasts but for statistics.
We decide to go inside, by now up top (2nd highest point on the island) the wind is really blowing so as we enter the shed I didn’t realise that the door didn’t have a handle on the front only some wire so Neil pulls the door open walks in and I follow going to close the door, went to grab the door handle on the inside before the wind causes the door to slam shut but what to you know there is nothing there so the wind slams it shut and we can’t get out. The first thing I think of is did we tell anyone where we were going? Brenda said that if we go anywhere that we must inform someone in case something happens. I straight away remember we did so not to panic if we don’t get home for dinner that they will come looking. So I finish my panic in my mind and then I start cursing just like an islander! (Crikey only been on the island for 1 day and I already curse like them – I have the 13 day voyage on the ship back to get rid of that!).So Neil says that we can climb out the window, so I start taking photos of the inside (still cursing!)
Neil then climbs out a window and opens the door for me.We have a look around and decide to continue on to see if we can find the road where Kerry lives, considering we only have a mud map that is not to scale and only shows the very main roads we eventually get lost and think we are on the right road and decide that it is a little over grown and we might be on someones land so we climb back up and later find out that we were on the correct road.
So we head back to the old radio station and took photos of the weather station
We then decide to go down the Radio Station road back through Issacs Valley road and just before we get to the Chalet we see that our neighbour Wayne is in his garden so we introduce ourselves and start chatting. He tells us to look around the house at his extensive plantation and water storageHe has tanks and bladders and cubes of water everywhere!
The water bladders are a new thing to the island introduced by Kerry – this option is excellent as it is cheaper in freight – only $80 compared to a rainwater tank which could be $1000.
As you can see it holds 10,000 gallons or 38,000 litres. Wayne has 2.We get back down to the chalet and spend the afternoon chilling out as the rain came. It rained all night.