Monday 31st March

Typical that the morning we had to get up and pack and be out of the motel by 10am was the one morning the kids actually slept in!
I left them sleep until just before 9am and somehow they managed to make it out the door and help me get packed in time.
I went to say goodbye to Shona, and had a lovely long chat with her.
She & Greg are wonderful hosts.
Cannot recommend Surrey Court Motel highly enough.
Lovely people and very comfortable and extremely clean motel units.
We drove into the cbd so Mahalia could get some t-shirts from JeansWest.
She had tried on Azzan’s and decided they fitted her well.
She also found a couple of very pretty maxi dresses.
While she was doing that Azzan was in a ‘$2’ shop choosing ‘something that he could not possibly live without’.
He had his phone in his pocket so I left him to it as ‘the thing’ changed every few moments 😉
When I finally got back he had changed his mind from a watch, to a book light, to several other items, and finally a bottle of hideously stinking cologne :-/
He just loves his smelly stuff and often gets a bit carried away with spraying his Lynx whilst in the car causing great outrage from both me and his sister!
I zipped across the street and got a frappaccino from Starbucks and then we headed off to fuel up the car and we were outa the city!
Drove to Riverton, realised on the way that I had run out of RUC’s.
Stopped off at Riverton to buy some more at the PostShop only to be told that they don’t them there.
Just have to hope and pray I don’t get picked up before I get to Te Anau as there is nowhere in between to purchase them except online.
We cruised off along the Riverton Rocks coastal route to have a look at the scenery.P1080395
Rocks are just made for jumping on!
Found a young comic on the rocks
And a fashionista on the beach
Carried on to the end of the road and found a delightful stretch of beach and rocks.
It was a very calm day but the waves were still very active and mesmerising.P1080411P1080422
Azzan wandered in the dunes pondering what to write in his book.
For all their sibling scraps they really do get on well xxx
Two cute oyster catchers were patrolling the beach.
Yet another rock to leap on 🙂
We carried on along the Southland Scenic Route and came across Cosy Nook.
It is a delightful wee place.
We drove to the end of the road and encountered a very friendly chatty ‘local’.
His father had actually built all the wee cribs there.
He himself lived in Riverton and was just visiting, doing a bit of beach combing.
More rocks to explore.
P1080458P1080461P1080462P1080466P1080467 - Version 2P1080470
Some retired North Island fold were there in their campervans.
They were watching Mahalia leaping on the rocks and reckoned we should be sending the photos into a competition or magazine 🙂
There were hundreds of titi or mutton birds flying around the bay, just skimming the water.
They looked like a black cloud shimmering along the surface.
The toilet amused me 🙂
As we left a group of boys from Invercargill Boys High on an outdoor ed camp were being released in wetsuits and paddle boards to expel some energy!
Interesting notice boards with some answers to questions you may not have even known you had 😉
You can see which way the predominant wind blows here!!
This unusual stunning historical house was near the turnoff.

We had some rather riotous conversation as we drove.
Never quite knew what profound words were going to launch forth from the back seat!
A – ‘When you are really old, and I am really rich, I will make sure you have the best rest home to live in!’
R – ROFL!!
– ‘I thought I would live with you.’
A – ‘You can put that thought on hold!’


Next place we diverted off to was Monkey Island.
Great place for some selfies – there is always one in the photo isn’t there!!
Really cool beach.
We counted over 16 camper vans there!
Kids decided to go suss out the island.
The tide was on the ebb so they thought they would brave the water and see how deep and cold it was.
Azzan’s ‘complaint’ is that Mahalia is taller than he is so she stays dryer higher!P1080508
And after returning a good romp on the beach to warm up and dry off was in order.P1080524P1080525P1080529P1080531
They dried and dressed amidst great hilarity and then we were off down the road again.
Arrived in Orepuki and drove passed this interesting looking cafe.
Did a u-turn and went back to investigate.
It was around 3pm and I was starving.
Proved to be a very good decision.
The food was excellent.
All home backed on site.
The lady behind counter was lovely too, very friendly.
Azzan’s sausage roll was SO large he needed help to cut it!
Mahalia had a panini – I helped her eat some of the salad & bread as she was struggling with her braces to get through it all.
I had this berry tart with yoghurt.
It was incredibly unusual in texture.
Almost melted in your mouth.
From that lovely sojourn we ventured on a bit further to a look out over Te Waewae Bay.P1080538
To the east
And to the west
Mahalia modelling one of her new dresses.
It was getting late, and the afternoon was a tad drizzly so we high tailed on to Tuatapere to find some accommodation.
I had decided after quite a lot go google searching to stay at the Last Light Backpackers.
But I was so glad I had not booked online, because after Mahalia & I sussed out the accommodation and facilities we decided to look elsewhere.
It might be the most economical place, and it might be old and being done up, but there was no excuse for it to be dirty.
The room we were offered hadn’t even been swept and there were dead flies on the beds.
We drove back into the village and went to the Tuatapere Motel, Backpackers and Holiday Park.
We were greeted cheerfully, shown a choice of rooms and given a tour of the facilities.
The place was fresh, roomy and very clean!
We took a dorm room and unpacked our gear.
Plenty of space to spread out in which was great.
It was quiet so we had the living quarters to ourselves.
Mahalia heated up the lasagne we had bought in Invercargill and we ate that for dinner with raw spinach and a slice of bread & butter.
I had to have a wee talk with Azzan about his behaviour.
It didn’t go down terribly well.
I hate this whole single parent thing, trying to bring up a young lad who needs his dad and some male input.
I can talk to the girls, identify with them in personal areas.
I just do not know how to get through to a young adolescent boy the whys and wherefore of growing into manhood.

After the kids went off to bed I sat out for a while longer.
I was feeling a little low.
Sat remembering all the times Tim & I had taken the kids holidaying over the years.
The fun times, the memories.
We had some great adventures.
I was really missing having him near me.
With no distractions of home and farm he would be extra attentive and even more snuggly.
I just want to snuggle up with him in our sleeping bag and have him cuddle me close.
I eventually headed into our bunk room to find the kids still up.
Got them sorted and wriggled into my sleeping bag and tried to sleep.
It was fairly fitful.
Gave up trying to sleep around 3:30am :-/
Crept out to the living area with my sleeping bag and laptop and caught up on a heap of stuff.
Have a feeling today will be a long one……..

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