We spent two nights with our friends near Nelson, and left Monday morning. After visiting some mutual friends for awhile, we finally got underway again around 1:00 and headed toward Picton. It was raining as we went through Nelson and over the hills; we couldn’t see much of anything. We stopped for a little while at the Pelorus River. There is a one-lane bridge over the river, with a footpath along the side. I crossed it, then went back to the van to wait while the others walked a trail to a swing bridge just downstream. I had hoped to get to see it this time (the other time we were there, I had a 3-week-old baby and wasn’t doing much hiking). With the rain, though, I decided it was best if I just went to the van and fed the baby. The boys, Esther, and their aunt seemed to enjoy the walk, though!
This is Mr. Sweetie on the footpath of the bridge.
The boys teased their aunt by swinging the bridge as she crossed.
Mr. Inventor is pretty good at skipping stones.
The bridge from down by the river.
The river, from the bridge.
We decided to stop for the night at Smith’s Farm Holiday Park, between Havelock and Picton. It is a small motel/campground on a farm. Because it is winter, they gave us a good deal on two cabins under one roof, sharing a covered veranda, with a ramp down to the kitchen/toilets/showers/laundry. The rooms were warm and cozy—it couldn’t have been much better!
As we were talking to the owners about accommodations, I noticed a sign on the wall about their glowworms. When we asked, they told us that we could walk out to the hills to see the worms, which were on open banks in the forest along a creek and waterfall. It was only a 20-minute walk, so we all headed out as soon as we had the camper unloaded. The walk out there wasn’t too bad; it was still daylight and we could see where to walk to avoid getting muddy. As soon as we crossed the creek and entered the trees, however, it was suddenly quite dark and we were glad for our headlamps! We soon saw glowing specks of light on exposed banks, and when we looked closely, we could see a little worm, with strands like spider webs dangling in front of it. Apparently, the light is to attract insects which get caught in the webs. One of the boys carried Little Miss out there, but about as soon as we found the worms, she decided she wanted to eat. I didn’t want to sit in the dripping, muddy woods to feed her, so took her and headed back. Gayle started back with Mr. Imagination about the same time, and the other children and their aunt stayed to explore a little more. The trip back was rather more difficult than the trip out! It was now pitch dark, and raining some. The trail went diagonally across a paddock, over a bridge, across another paddock to a stile, along a fence to a gate, across another paddock to another gate…. I remembered most of the paddocks and gates, but there was one place where I was lost for a couple of minutes! I finally found the right gate into the last paddock before getting back to the cabin. And all this time, I had a screaming baby, and kept slipping in the mud. (Thankfully, crocs are washable!) Gayle had a hard time, carrying Mr. Imagination, too. He couldn’t find the last bridge, and had to jump across the creek, and Mr. Imagination’s croc fell off, into the water. It got caught in a branch 20 meters downstream. All in all, it was quite an adventure—we really enjoyed finally getting to see glowworms!
Going up the trail through the woods.
Mr. Inventor showed Little Miss the pet sheep in the morning.
Several pukekos visited in the morning.
We walked across these paddocks to the base of the hills and up into the bush a little way, to see the glowworms.
The park’s letter box!