Gisborne and Lake Waikaremoana
Well finally we had left the East Cape area and left behind a windswept landscape with small run down towns and campsites with water that you could not drink and we welcomed the sunshine and beaches of Gisborne.
As Gisborne was the first large town that we had been to for a few weeks so it was time to spend some time doing the blog and emailing family, it was also a great place to fill up with fuel for a good price and fill the van with food, it is such a great feeling doing this, knowing that you are ready for another week on the road. We camped at a powered site just on the edge of town at the showground, it was clean and quiet and did ever thing we needed it to do, the showers where a little crap but at least we could have one. After a evening at the camp, by which time we were all powered and charged up we had a whole day is Gisborne to relax and have a look around. We were treated with great weather and this let us enjoy a relaxing walk along the main beach in the sun and took in some views of the town at a local view point just over the harbour. The library had free internet which was great and we used it to the full. The town seemed to be really clean and well kept with big palm trees lining the streets and it also seemed to be very green with lots of big mature trees around the town streets. After having a good look around and soaking up the sun we took a short drive up the coast to a free camp spot that the council provide by the sea. The site was nestled between the road and the sea, and was well sheltered and not to noise from the road and we got great views out to sea. That evening I went for a good run on the beach that set me up nicely for dinner and a good night's sleep after a fun day.
Our next port of call was at Lake Waikaremonana which was a very large lake set up in the hills that were formed by a large land slide thousands of years ago, the lake offered great walks and stunning views and also good fish I discovered.The drive up to the lakes was a good few hours and at the end the road had become unsealed gravel which made driving slow and bumpy and very dull, there was so much dust on the roads that you had to have the windows closed or the van would fill with dust, this was not fun because it was a very hot day. Finally after making our way half way around the like we made it to the DOC camp. The camp was sat right on the lake side and was very well maintained, we set up the van and enjoyed a refreshing glass of white wine and watched the sun set over the lake before ending our day. The next day we set off to walk to a nearby lake and to look at some falls. The walk to Lake Waikareiti was up hill all the way all through rain forest, it did not offer great views but we did see lots of birds and very old trees. Once we had walked back down we ended the day by looking at the impressive Aniwaniwa Falls. The falls were hidden in a small valley and offered a great site, they were not to high but very wide and offered us refreshing air that was blasted from the falls, after taking the falls we got back in the van and got it stuck in a ditch. The van was really stuck this time and the only hope was to get a 4x4 to get us out, lucky we were only 1.5 km from the main road and within no time we had flagged down a car that gave us a toe out, we were very lucky that we were near a main road, if we were not who knows how long we would have been stuck for. Once back at the camp the camp warden had set up his office at the camp where he would be for the next 4 months, I would go crazy if I had to camp in one place for 4 months, but that what we liked so good for him. The warden gave me a good tip for fishing to try by the boat ramp at first dark. So later that evening I walked down with my rod and after about an hour I hooked a great Brown Trout, have a look at the photos, I also put a photo of the Rainbow Trout I got at lake Tarawera, the trout here make great eating and we were both very happy, me for catching it and Anna for getting to eat it. Our time at the lake was good fun and we carried on south the next day, the lake was an amazing place but the roads getting to it made it quite an effort but we both agreed that it was worth it. Till the next time Tim