Sunday, November 5, 2017

Gore Bay & Paua Hunting

In the last week I have been moved from Kaikoura to a small beach town south of most of the road sites. A place called Gore Bay, with it's main town being Cheviot. Well, “main” may be a bit of a far stretch. Cheviot probably has 300 people living it at most. The switch in location was due to the way to work taking ages. Cheviot and Kaikoura are about the same distance to the job, but not passing through all the roadworks means we save a lot of time. What sometimes took two and a half hours now can be done in a consistent half an hour. The new place is really good, too.
Anyway, in Gore Bay I now had entire free day this weekend, after spending yesterday shopping in Christchurch for groceries and watching a movie. Managing to pry myself out of the comfy bed in the morning and after some breakfast and exercise I set of on a walk to explore the surrounding area. There is a track leading up in to the limestone hills surrounding Gore Bay (forgot the name of the trail) and I decided to have a bit of an explore. The sign pointing out the track mentioned that the walk would take two hours, so I had all the food and water with me for a lunch at the top. A lot of the trail seems to be in dire need for repairs, as some of the pathways close to the stream running through look to be in threat of collapsing in to the stream bed. But they held me so they can probably hold nearly anybody. Hiking along the bottom area of the track I came to a section which took me through the stream, but it had fanned out and created a kind of swampy area overgrown by high grass. Initial thought was that this could be a risky area to traverse, but then I reconsidered my instincts from Australia that there would be no such things as snakes in there (snakes love those conditions, perfect for hunting amphibians). Climbing up I got to the top in approx. half an hour. 
At the top with the view overlooking Gore Bay and the hills towards the inland I meet two Kiwis who were in Gore Bay for a short weekend vacation. Had a bit of a chat to them, mainly about the work going on on the roads and rails to Kaikoura. Not much later back down, which was a lot faster than going up. All in all the two hour return trail took about 45 min. Not satisfied yet, I headed to the beach and along that. Seeing as the tide was out about three dozen people were on and around the beach, clambering over rocks and out in the shallows with wetsuits on. Pretty obvious what they were after, the New Zealand renown paua. Gore bay seems to have pretty large specimens of them, according to all the ones on display throughout the beach town. Shoes and socks of I decided to try my luck, too, but at the end of it all (after clambering over rocks and kelp) my search was rewarded with a moderate sized shell of a paua. No food inside it, though, so I'll have to try another day.
Once the tide started coming back in again I was back to the house for a bit of a read and writing the blog.

Length: 6.5km

Time: 1 hour 45 min.  

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