Another birthday

Before we left the glorious weather in Oamaru, we caught up with such chores as laundry, shopping and washing the van.  We headed off from Oamaru on Sunday afternoon to slowly wend our way toward Ashburton scheduled to arrive Monday afternoon as it was Theo’s 3rd birthday on Tuesday. 

We called in to see Anne & Paul along the way, this time NOT parking in the mud!  We left their place and headed toward Ealing where we knew there was a good parking spot.  Before we left Oamaru, Bernice had noticed that the fridge was not working particularly well, but was told that it was as a result of parking on a slope at Mike & Ann’s and it would .  But by the time we arrived at Ealing, it was evident that the fridge was definitely not working.  That necessitated a change in plan, so it was up and off into Ashburton on Monday morning to find someone to fix the fridge.

Of course, it seems just our luck that things are not meant to be that simple.  Once the fridge was removed from the van,  many hours were spent turning the fridge over and over (apparently this can get them working again – go figure!), it was decided that the fridge was not going to be resurrected, therefore we needed a new one.  Luckily, B & V Motorhomes just happened to have a new one the right size in stock, so the next hour or two was spent installing it.  We eventually arrived at Jason & Erica’s in the early evening, a little later than originally anticipated. 

Tuesday was Theo’s birthday, much excitement and anticipation all around.  Erica made this lovely cake with all the appropriate Bob the Builder machinery, and earthmoving accoutrements that a 3 year old could desire.

Cake and birthday boy copy Theo and Bob the Builder cake, what more could a three year old want.

The following day was spent doing various chores in Ashburton and having a final dinner with Jason, Erica and the grandchildren.

Thursday we were off again to find somewhere to spend the night on our way back to Oamaru.  We decided that we would take a slow trip back and visit some byways rather than heading straight down SH 1.  We went into Ashburton for supplies and were then to head to Methven and follow the Inland Scenic Route home.  However plans change and we decided to go to Hakatere Mouth (the mouth of the river that flows through Ashburton).  The parking here had received good comments on a couple of sites.

Arrived to find a settlement not dissimilar to several at the mouths of South Island East Coast rivers.  A private area enclosing about 100 cribs with a parking area on a different level.  The first thing that was noticeable was the strong smell of fish from the onshore breeze.  Obviously there were or had been a large number of fish taken by the shags sitting on the beach, and they were adding their aroma to the area.

Haketere mouth 3Shags at the end of the road on the shingle bank between the shore and the open sea.

Haketere mouth 2The southern end of the river mouth where the river meets the sea.  The mouth at this point is barred and the river exits about 500 metres to the north.

hakatere mouth 1The northern end of the river mouth where it exits to the sea

The camping area held no attraction for us so we made our way south to Ealing for the next couple of nights.

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