Tuesday, January 10, 2012

You'll Never Believe What Washed Ashore

Andy and I had a first in our hiking history at our campsite yesterday.

The day started out fairly normally.  The night before we had read that our intended campsite, Mutton's Cove, was closed because of the flooding and landslides that hit that area of New Zealand in the previous weeks.  We were bummed because it was supposed to be one of the most remote and beautiful beaches, but we figured we'd find somewhere else to hike.

We decided to go on a guided kayak trip that morning.  When we mentioned our situation to the owner of kayak rental, he told us he thought the campsite had just opened and would check into things while we were out on the water kayaking.

So off we went kayaking, which was pretty amazing.  I was nervous at first but calmed down as we paddled around and hung out with the birds, jellyfish and seals.

After we disembarked from the kayaks, the owner told us our campsite was open, but the water taxi to it left in 15 minutes.  He had called the boat operator for us and he'd wait an extra 5 minutes for us - so we flew to the car, threw some things in our hiking bags, raced to the boat launch and boarded the water taxi just in time.  We then began to trek to our remote beach campsite and set up our tent.

 And then this washed ashore:

And then we thought we it was a mirage and we were hallucinating, but truly, a Bernese Mountain Dog named Cash had come ashore.  His owner, Ken from Wellington, had brought his kids and the dogs out boating, and they had randomly chose to stop at our beach.  Ken had put Cash on the dingy and put a life jacket on him, but Cash doesn't swim.  So he was surprised when Cash suddenly jumped out of the dingy.  One of the kids had to get him and bring him to shore, luckily his life jacket kept him afloat.

Ken informed us that Berners aren't too common in the North Island or the Northern part of the South Island where we were camping.  We couldn't believe the luck that our remote campsite opened for use, that we barely made the boat to bring us here, that Ken - one of the few Berner owners on the island - chose this beach to stop at and that Cash oddly decided to jump in the water.

So we gave Cash some pets, Ken gave us some beers and we enjoyed the random events of the day that led a Bernese Mountain Dog to our campsite.


apt said...

Until the photo of Cash, I was pretty certain that you and Andy were the only domestic beings on the island. Fun story! The photo of the tent and the tree (and the rest of the photos, too): incredible.

Monica said...

That's a pretty cool story! What are the chances? Also, the amazing scenery is making me want to run away to NZ. Are you sure you guys are coming back? It looks absolutely stunning. :)