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  • Writer's pictureTim and Lindsey

Our little secret… (Day 115)

It was convoy day again, we needed to arrive at Upper Takaka by 5pm to join the queue and get over to Nelson – so much to do and so little time. Ah – we made a big mistake only having seven weeks in this wonderful country.

First on our list was Salisbury Falls. We’d heard that “there’s gold in them hills”, well, in the riverbed. Was it our lucky day? Every day is, but did we find a great big nugget? No. Mind you Tim did find a flack of gold – I don’t think it will do anything for our bank balance though.

Next was a visit to The Langford Store. Wow! What a place. It’s like going back in time. This general store and post office was opened in 1928 by the present owner’s great grandfather. His granddaughter took over the reins in 1945, running the shop for 63 years and then Sukhita Langford carried on the family tradition keeping this shop going. It really is a treasure trove. I saw boxes labelled buttons, rubber gloves and all manner of things. A large collection of dainty antique cups and saucers are for sale, as well as being used for tea and cake. Old food packaging adorned the shelves. Everywhere you looked there was something interesting to see – even in the outside toilet! A blend of old and new, museum come tea shop with gallery space for local artists. An absolute delight. My description doesn’t do it justice.

After a quick coffee we ventured to Takaka to visit Te Waikoropupu Springs. Oh – another Wow! The clearness of the water is incredible. Apparently the springs produce 14,000 litres of water per second! Not surprisingly this area is a sacred place for Māori; the water being spiritual and physical source of life, also the legendary home of Huriawa, its guardian spirit. A magical place which has become a bit touristy with neat boardwalks, however these do help stop people from contaminating the water.

It was lunch time so we found a fab café in Takaka, The Wholemeal Cafe located in the old grand theatre. The family behind this café is Wayne and Adyee Green and I love Wayne’s quote on his website: “When suits mixed with bare feet and beards, teenagers, farmers, mothers and yuppies are all comfortable together, I feel I have achieved the ultimate atmosphere. It is then like an insulated bubble where everybody forgets their prejudices, when society blends.” What a great philosophy and so true, such a mix of people were in there, young hippies, grown up travellers and a group of Morris dancers (…/) all enjoying fabulous, healthy, and wholesome food.

We had just enough time to see a bit more of the Golden Bay and Abel Tasman National Park, so zoomed through Pohara and around Wainui Bay. Thrice Wow! The scenery was spectacular, golden beaches, turquoise waters, incredible rock formations and abundance of natural beauty. One of our many favourite places. A very quick jaunt up into the National Park and an area we’d both love to explore in more detail another time.

We managed to get to the convoy just before 5pm and an hour later was in the outskirts of Nelson for our next Airbnb. A lovely young couple who originate from Poland. I ended up career coaching one of them – a perfect end to a perfect day. And as Lou Reed sings:

"Oh, it's such a perfect day, I'm glad I spent it with you Oh, such a perfect day, You just keep me hanging on, You just keep me hanging on."

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