With Maia and Rhiannon on board we drove west towards Golden Bay. Rhiannon had terrified us with accounts of the drive over the hills ( now christened Mount Doom) to get there. But Karen proved more than competent taking the camper van around the many hairpin twists and turns as we drove over the pass. And so we came to Golden Bay where Maia had moved with the kids many years before. A rambling bungalow set in an orchard of lemon and apple trees bounded by 2 streams (allegedly full of eels) overlooking the beach. The house truck she travelled round the South Island before she discovered Golden Bay was still sitting in the corner, the interior still smelling of incense and charcoal from the cooking stove in the corner. We walked on the beach and went down to the centre of Pohara to eat. Rhiannon hadn't been back in 4 years and was disgusted at the gentrification of the township and the. Sky high prices. Golden Bay inhabitants have prided themselves on their alternative lifestyle. The catch is when lots of other people want to come in to sample it which creates commercial opportunities! But she managed to link up with friends she hadn't seen for years.
It's shaping up to be a wonderful time here. The house is so restful. There is so much outside to go and explore.