Published: May 10th 2008May 6th 2008
Sorry for the delay in writing this long overdue blog!! What can I say I've been having too good a time to sit down long enough to put fingers to keys!!!
Well I can't believe I've been away for 2 & 1/2 months already and the impending truth of only a short time left in New Zealand!
Lets see my last entry ended with me arriving in Ngaio Bay. An absolutely stunning place. Being able to wake every moring and look out on to the beach words really can't describe. It gave me a real energy to stand in the fresh open space and do yoga each morning before work and then swim every afternoon in the sea having walked in the vast expanse or chilling with one of our hosts many books. If peace and serenity are what you want or need this is definately the place to be. At the same time though there was always something to do. In some respects I felt like part of an extended family and enjoyed the company and hospitality of our hosts. It also felt at times as if we were in fact guests as we were
welcomed to participate in all that the guests took part in from dinner to fishing, great conversation to insight into our hosts photography and lives, meeting interesting guests to taking a bath on the beach. In some ways I think we got a better deal than the guests due to the extra experiences we had. The penguins setting up home under our beach hut and eventually being evacuted after days of persistence (mainly on James' part! I think the male penguin and James had a love hate relationship!! lol) to the possum's partying on our roof like it was their last one. A truely magical experience which didn't feel like hard work at all! Sorry to say goodbye but looking forward to the next challenge!
About as far away as we could have gotten, Moturoa Island in the Bay of Islands (North Island). It took us 2 long days of pretty much constant travel but well worth the long trek. Here we were to house sit for the owners whilst they went to a wedding and did some business. The island is in fact a site of conservation for wildlife including the Kiwi! It is only inhabited by 20
residents, most of which don't live their all the time. I couldn't believe our luck, a house to ourselves, beautiful scenery and secluded beaches, kayaks & fishing gear, stunning walks and the 'mule' (a small 4x4 motorised bugey) to drive around the Island. I think there was only once in my week and a half there that I felt a little stranded and in general the time flew by including the long list of jobs which we had been left to do. Digging holes to cement mixing and laying a flower border, to cleaning and tiding, clearing gutters to laying stone. Very diverse which I enjoyed. Ooh I nearly forgot the weirdest thing happened whilst we were there. We needed to order some food which the shop deliver on the tourist boat. It doesn't stop just comes into the jetty and passes over the side of the boat to you. Well who would of thought I would've been photographed by tourists as if I lived on the Island. Really quite bizarre!!
Time to move on again and off to the Coromandel and Whangamata after a quick re-coup in Auckland. Its really quite surreal it feels like a rain forest!
Stunning again but in a different way. Our first couple of days in Whangamata were very wet although this didn't put us off instead we started to explore the local area even if we got soaked (a good excuse to sit in a local cafe!! lol) The beach was amazing. Beautiful white sandy beach which seemed to go on forever and to go with it great surf for all the surfer's out there! Our hosts again were fantastic, very welcoming and included us in their lives from introducing us to their friends to getting us involved in the community. Again having spent about 3 weeks here it felt like home away from home. Lucky again with the accommodation, we had a house to ourselves on their plot of land. I think I've learnt the most here from basic's in permaculture, being sustainable, and on the other hand stories of sailing, a brief encounter with jewellery making and lots of info to do with natural healing, chinese medicine and acupunture. I felt like we really achieved and helped here from the gardens to volunteering in the local community looking after a group of kids for a couple of days in the
holidays. It was interesting for me too as we visited the fire, ambulance & police stations and also had a day out at a small farm. We also stayed for the beach hop which is a long weekend where thousands of people meet for a classic car event with the theme of 50's and 60's. It was good, glad we hung around for it. I also think I enjoyed this place as we were able to get out and about on days off. We visited Hot water beach where you're suppose to dug a hole in the sand which fills with hot water from underneath to give you your very own hot pool. Unfortunately the tide didn't go out far enough the day we visited!!! However we did have a great trip to Cathedral cove which is stunning. Also visited Driver's Creek Railway and Pottery where they also glass blow. Got to watch the guy doing this. He made an amazing vase out of nothing, really quite something. The list goes on so will just attach so pictures!!!
Its been a real pleasure WWOOFing, meeting all these fantastic people and sharing a part of their lives. For me now
though I'm off to be a tourist for my last couple of weeks and catch up on things I've missed along the way. Its quite sad in a way!
If you ever get a chance to WWOOF I'd say jump at it. Its a great way to travel, meet interesting people and be on a budget!!
Well thats me for now, back off to Auckland to catch a few sights before hopping on my kiwi experience bus!
Take care, Em x
P.S. will attach my photos next week!
There are more photos below