Heather kindly did the driving this morning to Pohara, Tarakohe and the wonderful coastline eastwards. The area has become a sought after place to live –lots of splendid houses with beach access and others with views of Golden Bay and Farewell Spit. Up the Gully (as Pohara Valley Road is locally known) we found the School, now a Maori meeting house and the house my family lived in.
The ships taking cement away used to dock at Tarakohe wharf; now it has a marina and the fishing boats come in and out.
The Bay records the spot where Abel Tasman discovered NZ and from there are views of beaches that have a hint of heaven –golden sand, turquoise water and no people. There are lots of birds here -we saw a kingfisher, heard a tui and lots of finches flitted in and out of the bushes as we drive past. Our final destination was Wainui Bay where at the end of a gravel road there was another perfect beach. Heather was born in Wainui Valley so I had the best guide to the who who’s and who’s house in the Valley.
In Takaka this afternoon I chatted with the Golden Bay Museum curator about the photos my Dad took of the installation of kiln no 3 at the cement works. They are interested in seeing them so there’s a sorting out and digitising task for Bev and I in the coming months. The works closed more than 20 years ago but a ghostly legacy remains. There are lots of interesting art shops and organic cafes alongside those meeting the local farmers needs.
With the sun still shining I ended the day with a walk along Pohara Beach and another visit to the Gully, this time on foot. As I paused outside our old house a very noisy poodle rushed to the fence followed by his apologetic owner. I explained why I was there and to my delight was invited inside. The layout is much the same & there’s still a peach tree in the back garden though probably not the same one! The concrere path is now a deck and the grapevine had gone Another big difference is the scrub and trees that now cover the land at the back –50 years ago sheep grazed there and left scraps of wool on our wire fence. I walked back down the road remembering how we would all head for the beach after school along the gravel road, off swimming or flounder fishing with a rod and nail. Today there was just me, driftwood and an oyster catcher digging for supper.