Saturday, 30 November 2013

Fishing... Lucky To Be Alive...

Did I say a few days ago that sometimes I
end up in  unexpected places... Well I certainly have
this time... I hope you're not squeemish.

I showed you this photo in my last post...  Well I had some
Pipis, took my rod, the tide was coming in and I walked
round the dirt road to this spot to go fishing... I
did catch a good size Kahawai... But then I somehow
fell in... Face down into the sea, but my leg and foot
slipped between the rocks and got caught. I had climbed
through the fence and was standing on the rocks to the left of
this photo. I got a real fright  and then adrenalin must have kicked in.
Using my arms and one leg I managed to push myself out of the
water, free my leg and get up onto the grass.
There was blood everywhere and when I tried to stand my left
knee wouldn't support me.  I knew the gashes on my leg
were serious... I had to get  help and there was no one around...
I couldn't walk... So I crawled back round the road.

When I got to this corner amazingly there was a car and
a man. He came running to my aid, took one look,
got more help and called the ambulance. In such a small
isolated place the first response was the fire truck
from Maketu then the ambulance from Te Puke which
took me to Tauranga hospital 3/4 of an hour away...
That wasn't my plan for Tuesday!
The photos below are taken while I was waiting...
And surveyed the damage


My foot and knee... My whole leg swelled up really fast.
 I left my jandals on... There is a big wound and hole
under the ball of my big toe... They kept the dirt and grass out. The blood
dried up fast and I wasn't aware of any significant pain.

  I spent 12 hours in accident and emergency... X-rays showed
my knee was broken... The tibia plateau... A corner
of it was shattered... All behind the knee cap. Looking back I have
no idea how I crawled round the road. The next day I spent
3 hours in surgery and recovery. The above photo is a couple
of days later, all trussed up in a brace and on lots of pain relief.

Yesterday it was decided I could get up and
have a shower... that was a huge effort...
Then all the bandages and dressings were
taken off. I watched with interest and curiosity...
What would be underneath?

The skin off the front of my shin... This
will require the most care to heal.

The damage that was under my foot that
I couldn't see... The  hunk of flesh that
came out was put back in the hope it
will grow... And stitched up.

The big hole on the side of my shin
is all stitched up...

And this big wound is from fixing my knee.
There is an L shaped metal plate in it and
several screws... All the colour is bruising
and red antiseptic. The little squares are
from the dressings.

And here I am today... Hospital gowns and leg braces...
The latest fashion! It's going to be a long healing process.
 I can't walk on my foot or put weight on my knee
for 12 weeks... Therefore I can't drive my bus... Oh dear...
But I'm very thankful to be alive I could so
easily have drowned.

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Tuesday, 26 November 2013

The Estuary at Little Waihi

This is the second road in Little Waihi...

It winds its way past some houses...

Then round to the estuary...

It's a fascinating area as the tide comes and goes.
A good place for flounders and herrings.
I haven't put my net out, there is too much weed in the water.

This looks an idyllic place... And it is...
But all the land in Little Waihi is Maori Leasehold land.
All the waterfront properties, the leases are not being renewed
so that is creating a real predicament for many people who
have had their homes here for lots of years and
enjoy the unique lifestyle.

The road dwindles into a track round to the end of this little
peninsular... I have wandered round here a few times...

Just to contemplate and enjoy the view.

I am coming back here tomorrow at high tide with my rod and some pipis for bait.
I'm told this is a great spot for catching good size herrings
which are delicious smoked.

Looking across the estuary to Pukehina. You can wade across at low
tide. It's 25km  by road.

And the end of the camping ground which is  like a finger surrounded
on all sides by the estuary.

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Monday, 25 November 2013

Little Waihi... Over The Hill From Maketu

This is where I am currently parked. It's amazing where I get to
and who I meet. This garden belongs to a couple I met recently
who invited me to come and park... I'm still there!

My bus seems to dominate and take up a lot of room...
But I did squeeze in... And have been welcomed into this
community at Little Waihi in the Western  Bay of Plenty.

To get here drive over the hill from Maketu... Which is to
the left at the end of this road. When you get here this is the
main street, the other one is a dirt road and goes round the estuary.
One in the other direction goes to the Bledisloe Holiday Park.
There is about 50 houses here and 150 permanent residents.

The village is tucked down under these hills and cliffs which
makes it a sheltered sun trap. It's not good
for Internet access though.

 These are some of the gardens...

And houses...

That make up...

This unique community. It's like stepping back 50 years
in time to the basic and simple and... So friendly.
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Saturday, 23 November 2013

Next Stop Papamoa Beach

When I left Sulphur Point I wasn't sure where next but I
thought I would easily find a freedom spot along
Papamoa Beach somewhere. That wasn't the case. I
had nearly given up and come to the end of Papamoa
Beach road when I spied this little road with the beach
and sea at the end. Haha... I thought and made a quick
left hand turn... Ideal!  I asked the people in the house
I was parked outside and they were more than happy for
 me to park and overnight there. The street didn't appear to
have a  name either on my map or GPS or at the end
of the road. I called it 'Short' street!

So here I am... Parked in the sun with a view out to sea...

It was great and very quiet... Which didn't last!  I found it
was the favourite place for quads with all their fishing gear
to access the beach, also people with Sea Horse type contiki's
came along. Not much was caught though... The problem
being the usual... The wind, or the tide or the light...
I was joined by two young fella's in a van who with their blow-up
'Lilo' and having lots of fun in the surf, parked for the night.
The other people I met were the drivers of the city bus service buses.
It was the end of the line and they often seemed to have a few
minutes to spare which they spent gazing at the sea and chatting to me.

It was a great spot for me... And had Internet access.

I wandered down to the beach at low tide to look for  Tuatua
but none around. I walked along the beach and met a  few
fisher people, all locals but catching nothing.

The houses along from where I was parked...

The sea to the south...

And to the north... It wasn't quite a benine as it looks, the waves
and current were strong. it's the open Pacific Ocean and
no islands to break it up.

And the moon rising. Beautiful.
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Friday, 22 November 2013

Another Day at Sulphur Point...

 I set off to explore the other end of where I was parked at Sulphur Point.
I had been told there was a restaurant and that I could walk into the city...
First the restaurant that was at the end of the block of apartments.

They made me very good coffee. I'm sitting on the deck outside
overlooking a short canal of water right beside me.

I'm also looking out towards the back of Mt Maunganui.
There is a deep channel where the boats launch at the boat ramps
where I am parked. You can just see them on the right of this photo.
More boats come along this channel to re-fuel and still more
come along here and into this canal.

They come up here - where I am sitting...

And into this berth where they are lifted up by this fork lift, cleaned,
groomed... Like a valet service... And stored on shelves.... At a cost of
course. I heard it was $800 a month but!

Next I walked into town... Back the way I had driven in.
Over the railway tracks...

Past the enormous number of containers.

Kept going along the road... Under the over-bridge...

Round the corner and under the next bridge...

And the road winds its way along another side of the harbour.

First place of interest I came to was the art and crafts
Cargo Shed. I wandered through... All sorts of talented people
selling their wares.

Next the Fresh Fish Markets which also sells the world's best
fish and chips, I'm told. Judging by the  people eating and enjoing
that could be true... I didn't try them!

Looking back as I walked on...

And forward... I walked through this car park, over the railway
track, again...

And was in the centre of the city. Lots of cafes and further along the usual city
retail shops. I suppose it took me 15 minutes to walk. Sulphur Point
is a great place to park... Access to all sorts of things and places.

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