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Sunday, February 18, 2018

Stitching Kowhai Leaves and Road Trip Tales

I’ve been stitching away on the third of my New Zealand botanical bocks.  This one is called “Kowhai Circlet” with a whole lot of small kowhai leaves to be stitched.  So far  I’ve done half of them, together with the circlet, and the various stems.  Once all the leaves have been completed, I can start on the pretty bright yellow kowhai flowers.   But as I’ve said before, every little bit helps.
 
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Weeks into our road trip, I’ve come to the conclusion that I get more stitching done if I leave my stitching bag out on the sofa, instead of putting it away in the cupboard each night.  Out of sight means out of mind, as it’s turned out.  Having my bag to hand, it is just so easy to pick it up on a sunny afternoon and start stitching, rather than to go looking for the bag when it has been put away.  Does that make sense to you?

As for holiday news – we are continuing to slowly move northwards.  The climb towing the van up the steep Takaka Hill (800m high) was slow and a little nerve-wracking, when we met a large truck coming around a tight corner straight towards us.  Some of those corners were real hair pins but the driver (if not the navigator) kept his cool, and kept on keeping on.  The views, as to be expected, were magnificent.  Mountain after mountain, one behind the other, as far as the eye could see.

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Trip over the Takaka Hill

We went to visit a very special place, the Pupu Springs.  Te Waikoropupū Springs (their full name) are the largest freshwater springs in New Zealand, the largest cold water springs in the Southern Hemisphere and contain some of the clearest water ever measured.  The entrance way has carved posts, and information panels telling of the springs and their special meaning to the Maori people.  We walked along a track through native forest, along an easy path and boardwalk.  The bush ringed pool is absolutely beautiful, full of the clearest of water bubbling up to the surface.  A little further around the boardwalk was the Dancing Sands Spring, where the bubbling water moves the white sandy bottom of the pool around, making the sand really look like it is dancing.

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Pupu Springs

There was a lot to explore in this area, places we hadn’t been before.  One day we decided to visit Totaranui, to see what was there.  Our trip started with driving through a hole hacked out of the rock,  and then we were on our way.  We reached the end of the sealed road and turned onto a 10km wiggly unsealed road to take us down to Totaranui on the coast.

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On the way to Totaranui

There is a huge DOC campground at Totaranui, which is on the edge of the Abel Tasman National Park.   The place was teeming with walkers, all keen to walk the tracks throughout the park.   We watched as crowds of campers milled about down on the beach, getting off and on the water taxis, as they lugged heavy back packs.  We were surprised at just how many keen young people there were ready to tackle these tracks over the mountains.

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Water taxis at Totaranui

The Abel Tasman National Park was named to honour Abel Tasman who visited New Zealand way back in 1642 but did not actually land here.  We stopped to view the imposing Abel Tasman Monument on the hillside, and were entertained by the antics of a cheeky weka, another flightless New Zealand native bird,  as we walked up the path.

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Cheeky weka and the Abel Tasman Monument

Another interesting visit was to  Labyrinth Rocks.   The Labyrinth is a world class example of karst limestone topography, we read.  We walked along narrow passages, ducking under trees, with towering rocks all around us.  About 25 million years ago the land was lifted out of the sea, and the tremendous forces taking place caused a series of cracks through the rocks, allowing rainwater to enter.  After millions of years the small cracks have widened to become the canyons in the labyrinth.

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Labyrinth Rocks

I’ll leave you with pictures of a memorial mosaic bench on the beach we found at a beach.  It seems to be made in the memory of a young woman who had passed away, by four friends.  It really was a work of art and incorporated commercial tiles, together with mosaics made from pottery, glass and beads.  You can imagine the time, effort, creative endeavor and love  these girls put in to making such a wonderful memory of their friend.

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In memory of Kelly

The scenery is wonderful in this part of the country – we  are currently exploring the northern tip of the South Island, known as the Golden Bay area.  Have been here briefly some years ago, so it is great, this time, to take longer and have such a good look around.

13 comments:

Tired Teacher said...

Yes, having the stitching bag handy rather than in a cupboard makes perfect sense. I like the look of your current block.

The Labyrinth Rocks park would be fascinating to visit.

Linda Bishop said...

Goodness, you do find some amazing interesting places!

Nancy J said...

We cross tomorrow afternoon, just ahead of the cyclone ( I HOPE), then slowly down the East Coast. Maybe home again by 12th March or so. Looks like you are having some wonderful visits along the way.

loulee said...

Looks wonderful. I remember driving under the rocks when we visited up there. Golden bay was beautiful.
Better batten down, it looks like we're about to be hit by that big storm. Be safe. xx

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

wonderful scenery - we used to love all the long hikes and mountain trails, now I'm afraid we need to stick to easier trails because of hubbies health, he can no longer do the difficult trails - when we start to travel again this year we will see what he can do and what he can't do and make plans that fit.

Karla (ThreadBndr) said...

Be safe on the road! I love the needlework piece. At this point, it looks rather like blackwork.

The Cozy Quilter said...

You are certainly seeing some amazing places on your trip. Your stitching is coming along too. I like to leave mine out to work on too.

Karen S said...

Stunning views from all points. What a lovely area. Certainly plenty to see.
Yes, when your stitching is handy it seems to get more done.
Love the mosaic seat. Such a gorgeous tribute.

Deb said...

I agree when the bag is out of sight it's out of mind, so now I keep my WIP in view on my side table so I tend to pick it up and stitch. You are certainly visiting some beautiful places, the mosaic bench is amazing.

AnnieO said...

I agree leaving the stitching where you see it encourages picking up the needle more often! Loved your travelogue, hope to get to New Zealand one day.

Jenny said...

Thank you all, for your kind comments. We are currently staying put in our caravan for a day or two, waiting to see how the aftermath of Cyclone Gita plays out. The cyclone has been downgraded to a storm, with dire warnings of floods, landslips and high winds!

Jasmine said...

Your stitching is as beautiful as your scenery.

Raewyn said...

What an amazing holiday you've been on...how lucky you ohave the flexibility to stop in where-ever and to take in all the sights. I do love your stitcheries... this will be a lovely block with the yellow Kowhai flowers.