Saturday, June 13, 2015

Solo Trip Blog life......with hiccups!

Jimu Solo Trip Blog

Greetings family and friends, it's been some time (6 months infact) since my last blog, so an update I think is in order.

We sold up on the farm at Rosedale in record time after 6 months preparation with massive help from my brother Philip. With a history of being a bit of a hoarder, the clean out had to be brutal, luckily allot of my tools and machinery was able to be left for the next owner, who loved the sheds and buildings and the space of Rosedale. Cutting things down to an absolute minimum we moved into suburbia in Richmond downsizing into a nice quiet little lane near to shops supermarkets, parks, walks and cycleways. We also bought an old motorhome and down sized our two cars for one smaller town easier on the gas type car. I have re-installed my cut down workbench and some hand tools and joined the Waimea Mens Shed, so things are progressing and am still easing into this new life.
While using my new 36 inch unicycle way I'm back in Feb I incurred an injury to my right shoulder, after 6 weeks physio it was no better, finally finding out I'd torn (complete tears) 3 of the 4 supraspinatus tendons and have been awaiting ACC to give the go ahead for surgery. So this trip away, my first solo in our bus called "Clowning Around" is pre surgery as I'm told the initial recovery and rehab are tough and slow. Hopefully I will be in fair enough condition to go with Christine to Seattle and around for the month of August.

My dream of clowning around NZ is somewhat under the cloud of this shoulder injury, but hopefully I'll be back in condition to get my clowning antics back onto the road with the bus.
I recently volunteered in the first Nelson Festival Fringe Festival and am really keen to get some sort of clown show sorted and ready to perform for next years Fringe Festival.
I've also been putting time into art studies with sketching, drawing and watercolours, all of which will be great to do while travelling around NZ with "Clowning Around"....So it's early days...

I am going to use this blog to report;

My journey in retirement. Last month I joined the "Gold Card" Brigade (ie I'm now a Pensioner)

My journey in Clowning, staying fit and healthy in mind and body.

My journey in performing and where this takes me and what I learn along the way. 
My motto is still "Together We Create Beauty",

My goal is to talk to people, to spread some smiles and fun, to lighten my energy and brighten up social interactions with people young and old, there is far too many people with glum faces stuck wearing drab clothes, stressed out, when a bit of frivolity and simple fun... I believe is what is sorely needed in todays sometimes stressful society....It will be bloody good for me too!

So with this in mind, and my darling wife suggesting I take off for a week solo in the bus before my operation. I load up my art materials, a few books, my saxophones, one bike (a mountain bike with Christine's America trip panniers) my small roll of carving chisels, to leave my mark wherever I travel.  A full fridge and tank of diesel with no fixed destination or time shedule, other than be back home in 7 days was both an exciting and relaxing prospect.
The bus hot water cylinder had not been working since the first time we tried it, now after seeking advice  and getting gas fitters to check it all out, the problem boiled down to operator error (mine) The previous owner had said to take the cover off the water heater exhaust when you have a shower, so as we hadn't had a shower I left the cover on, this was not correct at all, as the cover needs to be removed for all hot water operations, and this took several months for us newbie motor homers to figure out!
Hmmm....slowly but surely we're getting things sorted.

On a beautifull Richmond day I headed west towards Murchison leaving rather late in the day at 2pm
As usual my blogs of the past follow the photos and happenings and will continue this pattern, when I'm in the zone taking photo's it's easy just to put words to them, and blogs sort of finish themselves.

On the many trips over the years to Chch I've passed Mangles Valley Road, which reminded me of my first foreman as an apprentice carpenter on the Building site back in 1966, Duncan Mangles, this time I decided to explore, and yes what lovely place the Tutaki Valley is on such a day!

Nicely unique mailbox

Hodgsons General store in Murchison, survivor of several earthquakes.

One of the lovely little churches around the town open midweek for browsing. 

Howzat for a view across the Murchison School playgrounds

The Mighty Buller.
Newtons Bridge, nearly 30 years ago I wrote off my Bedford Van when I crossed this bridge. It was under repair at the time and managed to pick up a steel cable which was anchored to the bridge, thereby crashing me sideways into the middle of the bridge. I remember we stopped rather sudden as Dad's pipe flew out of his mouth and hit the windscreen, luckily we had seat belts on.
 As I was blocking the main highway, I walked down to Newtons Livery 3klms further down the gorge, to get some help.

This was the character I met, Stephen McGrath, an alternative life-styler, with Clydesdale working horses, no power, living self sufficiently off the land, drove the local school bus (used the school bus to charge up his house batteries for lighting) He quickly got us off the bridge by using a digger with a chain around the  van axle lifting the front up high and getting us off the bridge only on the back wheels.
As I hadn't seen him since then, I called in, ending up helping him feed out to his cattle and horses, by Clydesdale and sled.

My second night on this solo trip I parked up behind the hill at Berlins Hotel, managing to get a text from home informing of my long awaited ACC approval for my shoulder operation.

 Motored down the coast to Westport, with a lovely brisk walk across the headlands to Cape Foulwind.

 Punakaiki famous for the blowholes were blowing hard against a bitter wind.

  Staying for the night beside the Fox River, I walked up Woodpecker Bay on one of those fabulous Westcoast foamy beaches. The red sand being swept out from the Garnet rocks which is quite common in this area.

Foam carried up into the rocks, looking so like wild water coming down a flooded river.

After a walk up to the Fox River caves, I headed for Motukiekie. a place recommended to check out and yes it was well worth it, catching the sunset and the next mornings beauty as well.

Reminds me of rocks seen in the canyons of America

 The rocks here look like there made up of a natural concrete, it is a particularly stunning place.

 Arrival in Greymouth, I discover the best way to explore a new town is to park the bus, get the bike off the back and cruise round at leasure taking photos and scoping out where to park for the night, finally finding a wonderful spot out in Cobden on the Bank of the Grey River as it heads out to Sea . The local council has set up on both sides of the River spaces for NZMCA vehicles. (self contained)
Paradise found, as I watch the sun go down while I play Sax.

The old Bank Building (now the local Art Gallery has this sobering sign on the exit door) got me wondering.

 Deciding to go on one of the local cycle trails which was great ...untill I lost the track, turning back to refind the proper track, as below.

 Hokitika is in my opinion a sweet little town, managing to capture my bike in front of the iconic Drift wood sculpture winner from several years ago.
 Parked up...again, wharf side, as I have breakfast in the bus I see this friendly seal swim by..."flippin amazing"

I'd been talking to an Irishman another motor homer the previous night and left some instructions for visiting Motukiekie as he was heading that way...this is what greeted me when I returned from my early morning walk.

 The Hokitika Gorge is also worth a side trip, the water colour a wonderful deep teal blue, with fantails all around the rocks

I'd better wind up this blog with a few more photos of Hokitika and my wandering eye!

This is Jackie, who opened her Gallery/Cafe for me, it was closed, but with a doorbell, stating "Ring and I'll open up for you! I did and we had a great chat about life as a Maori Artist on the Coast! She had signs in the shop saying no photos please, so I asked if I she to me is a "Work of ART" and this is how I got her photo.

Next Blog will be the return to Nelson via Lake Moana, Blackball and Reefton
See you then...hopefully!


Sam Young said...

Cheers Jimu - glad to know you are still as busy as ever, and totally immersed in living a fabulous life! Thanks for sharing it!

Jimu said...

Mucho appreciatto Sam, for your comments, their is no tomorrow, only today!

FlyingKiwiGirl said...

I think you owe me a moro! :)
Well done on the blog and trip, it all looks fantastic. I love that you've been meeting people and getting their photos. It's something I need to get into- I have a project on the backburner- '100 Strangers'- photos of people we meet on our travels. I just can't get up the nerve to ask them plus I have little time to do those photos too. Maybe one day. Anyway, well done Jimu, I enjoyed reading it all. Great to see familiar places too.
Stay well

Jimu said...

Thanks Shellie, I'll keep a Moro in the bus just for you......just how long do they keep?