Forth to the Firth of Thames

Ray's Rest - Kaiaua

Friday 23 March we finally left Ambury Park, bound south and east. We stopped off at Traillite at Pukekohe for a couple of quick fixes before following our familiar path over the Bombay Hills and then east on SH2. We branched off and took the back road through to Miranda and the Firth of Thames. We went north up the Seabird Coast a short distance to the seaside reserve known as Rays Rest. Here we are more or less allowed to park beside the water – or at least the high water mark. When the tide goes out, it’s a long long way to the low water mark. We parked up there with friends and passed a lovely leisurely weekend with them doing not much.

We walked up and down the coast a few times, chatted, watched the many birds, watched the fishing people, had a few Rummyo sessions, photographed, sat in the sun, skipped stones ….. yep, I took advantage of a very calm morning to skim stones on the almost flat sea. I’ve never seen such a calm sea – the wave heights would have been measured in millimetres. The sea-shore there is all shell banks, and shells are no use for skimming. But as I do, I carry my own skimming stones with me – for just such an eventuality. I reckon one or two stones got at least 20 skips – halfway to the world record! In the future some geologist/bird watcher is going to discover in the Firth of Thames round flat stones identical to ones only found on the beach at Hokitika. He’ll surmise that they might have been ballast in ancient Celtic explorers voyages from Westland to Thames that ended badly.

Ray's Rest - Seabird Coast near Kaiaua

Wading Birds at Ray’s Rest – Seabird Coast near Kaiaua 

Ray's Rest - Seabird Coast near Kaiaua

Motorhomes at Ray’s Rest – Seabird Coast near Kaiaua 

Ray's Rest - Seabird Coast near Kaiaua

Ray’s Rest – Seabird Coast near Kaiaua – Coromandel Beyond

Ray's Rest - Seabird Coast near Kaiaua

Wading Birds and Firth of Thames at Ray’s Rest – Seabird Coast near Kaiaua 

Saturday afternoon weather wasn’t the best and we retreated to the Kiaua fish and chip shop for tea. Here we noticed a Phil Goff lookalike. He looked too young to be the real Phil Goff. Mind you stopping being the Leader of the Opposition could do that to someone. A bit like stopping work at the hospital. Or stopping work most places.

Rays Rest near Kaiaua - Seabird Coast of Firth of Thames

Rays Rest near Kaiaua – Seabird Coast of Firth of Thames

Rays Rest near Kaiaua - Seabird Coast of Firth of Thames

Breakfast at Rays Rest near Kaiaua – Seabird Coast of Firth of Thames

Rays Rest near Kaiaua - Seabird Coast of Firth of Thames

Rays Rest near Kaiaua – Seabird Coast of Firth of Thames

Insect

Insect Doing Chin-ups on the Truck Stone Guard

We were parked up across the Firth of Thames from Ngarimu Bay, just up the coast from Thames.  Which is where I spent the first six years of my life. It still surprises me how little excitement I feel about my birthplace and first home. After we left Rays Rest we called around to Thames. I was probably more excited about it being the place where my Peugeot 404s were made than it being the place where I was made.

Monday we stayed the night parked up at Wyn’s friends place just south of Thames. And finally on Tuesday 28th March we headed back to Te Puke. Our favourite BananaPepper Café in Waihi was open so we stopped off and topped up with goodies. Later we rolled in to the camp at the packhouse in Te Puke, with a few hours to get ourselves ready to start night shift that night. It was time to get to work.

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