Ka Pai Island – Part 1

“On a Mish” #245 Ka Pai Island (Part 1). Pohara. Golden Bay. 16.1.2021. The top of New Zealand’s South Island receives the most hours of sunshine each year. Places like Totoranui and Nelson are legendary for hot days and golden sand. My sister’s family has continued what was the yearly norm for her husband Paul when growing up, and head to the camping ground in Pohara. Paul’s family has been going to the idyllic slice of paradise for more than 30 years, and I have been told many times about the relaxed waves of Golden Bay lapping the golden sand, under a bright equally golden sun…

Unlike the south, where sunny days can be a rare treat to make the most of, the north is well known for its sunlight. Leaving Christchurch stressed and pale, then returning refreshed and bronzed is a tale I have heard time and time again. Even during December I never imagined I would still be in Christchurch dealing with my ongoing injuries. While waiting for the results of a scan in December I got the unexpected pleasure of enjoying the Christmas period with my Whanau, and having both a young nephew and niece made the occasion very special. It is a strange situation not knowing whether you need surgery on your favoured hand / wrist, and for over a month I didn’t know if using my hand was going to be good or bad in the future. This predicament left me in a frustrating limbo, with an unclear future ahead. The positives to this though was I could join the Whanau for a week relaxing on the golden sand of Pohara Beach.

Paradise found

The drive north of Christchurch is full of twists and turns, and to make the 495km journey easier on my broken body we stopped for a night in Blenheim. It was during the evening that I had a glance at the weather forecast for the next week. The information didn’t make for good reading. Apart from the next day, the rain logo combined with very strong wind seemed to be the only info on display for the next 5 days. One thing you can guarantee with the weather is it will happen, and you can’t do anything about it. Early-ish the next day we departed Blenheim and made our way towards Pohara. We were through Nelson early, and Tahunanui Beach was already busy with people enjoying the glorious morning sun. Roadworks slowed the journey over the many turns of Takaka Hill, and it was midday when we finally made it to Pohara. It is very satisfying finally arriving at a place that you have heard about, especially if you have only heard great things about the place. The campground was packed with people, all enjoying the conditions and company of the busy holiday hotspot. I was never included in the plan, as no one imagined I would still be lingering around. This wasn’t an issue as I pitched my tent outside my parents’ self-contained cabin. We all got together on the beachfront, which was only meters away from the cabin. And together we had a toast to the sunny paradise we all found ourselves in….

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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