87. Rarangi Beach

Our first homesit for Winter 2015 is drawing to a close. 2 weeks in a beautiful warm sunny home right on the beach at Rarangi, 10 minutes’ drive NE of Blenheim.  IMG_1824

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I never tire of the view from the back deck …. (That is a bit of tree stump, not a person!)

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That’s the bottom of the North island in the distance.

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Our charges this time are Nonny (a Swedish Valhund) and Dudley (a standard Schnauzer). Both readily accepted Penny – and us – as an addition to their household so now Dave and I are shadowed around the house and garden by 3 dogs and cannot sit down without at least one wanting to plop on our feet if not in our lap.

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Dave has been the chief dog walker while I took over the awesome kitchen with its super fast touch-controlled ceramic stove top which can boil a kettle in just a minute. This house has more glass than walls, a beautiful cork tiled floor throughout, and huge cupboards with space for most things so the house has a clean minimalist look with just a few quality pieces of art on the walls. Doubtless due to the looming mountain range to the north it is colder here at the beach than in Blenheim and washing takes longer to dry; we are glad of the wonderful wood-burner fire in the evenings.

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One weekend Dave’s niece Viv came to stay and we took her for a long drive up to Port Underwood and round the top to Picton and then home. We’d done much of that drive before but could never tire of the glorious scenery.

Before starting up the hill we had a look at Monkey Bay at the end of Rarangi Beach Road.. Definitely not a place to go swimming. A cave leads right through the rock and water can be seen swirling around at the other end.

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This is the view looking back towards Rarangi and then Blenheim. All the vineyards are masses of golden yellow as autumn colours deepen.

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There were numerous little bays along the gravel road.

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At Ocean Bay an old whale blubber pot marks the spot where whale trading commenced in 1830. Sheep and cattle farming were also attempted in the area.

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Robin Hood Bay provided some pretty scenery.IMG_1692 IMG_1690 IMG_1689

At one bay there was an Outward Bound camp, and some hardy youths braving the chilly water.

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Finally we reached Port Underwood, where some fishing vessels are still based.

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Rather than continue straight on to Picton we took what amounted to a very long side road which led us right around the large bay at the end of Port Underwood. Retracing our route finally we reached Picton in time for a very welcome late lunch at about 3 pm!

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The Blenheim Farmers’ Market on Sunday was delightful. Lots of wonderful enticing food, coffee and produce …. no rubbishy items which blight so many markets these days. Morning tea was served on tables with lacy tablecloths. A special stall raised money for the Nepalese earthquake victims – huge delicious spicy Nepalese dumplings.

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A visit to the Wairau River bar on a DFO day (dull, flat and ‘orrible in photographers’ parlance) still resulted in some great photos. High tide was several hours earlier so the river had got up quite a run, producing some wonderful swirly patterns as it met the gentle waves of the ocean. On a stormy day it must really be quite a sight.

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Mostly we stayed in the house or on the beach, but we did make several forays into town to investigate the housing market, with a possible view to shifting up here where it is warmer once we have got most of the wanderlust-in-a-caravan out of our systems.

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