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Published: February 11th 2013
My excuses for the delayed blog, I guess no news is good news?
Last time I wrote about my time in Wellington. At that time I was staying at the community of Rainbow valley in Takaka. That was about 2 months ago. Now I'm in Motueka, not far from where I was 2 months ago, maybe things have not changed that much, therefore there was not much to write about?
As many of you have read on facebook, I've been wwooffing my way around the Golden bay, only to stick around for the Luminate festival. Something I was looking forward to even before I set foot on kiwiground. Things have changed, I have changed, but mostely my plane ticket has changed. I was suppose to fly back to The Netherlands the 26th of January but I had to follow my heart and I've decided to extend my trip. I will be going home the 26th of March, just in time to see the first blossom popping up. Traveling alone has been a bliss, do whatever you want, trying to find your own path and meeting interesting people. There are too many great stories to tell, photos to share and emotions to express. I wish could've blogged before so you would get a more profound idea of it all. But keeping my blog short will keep you from becoming bored and doze off.
----Kimi Ora Spa resort----
I freaked out during the holidays cause I had to leave Rainbow because they needed the space. I send out about 8 request to different wwoofinghosts, none of them came back to me. Just after Christmas I finally got one answer from this 4 star spa resort in Kaiteriteri. It looked really interesting, doing different jobs like reception, gardening, help with the treatements, yoga, catering, maybe cleaning. Kimi Ora was an eco resort and they only serve vegetarian, something that draws my intention. Mostely I was happy that I got a place to go. I brought along a German which I called Mathias 2, cause there was another Mathias at Rainbow. I didn't really know him and he didn't like me cause I wasn't really friendly when I met him (long story :p) but he also needed a place to stay. We went hitchhiking (just 1hour drive) and we got picked up within 5 minutes (the average here), a very nice kiwi couple that just went home after the holidays with the family. They dropped us off at the crossing from Kaiteriteri and Motueka, at the flying fox. A semi-popular activity where you go up the mountain by boat and you get dropped down while splashing water everywhere for a lot of money. Are kiwi's that bored? Another 2 minutes to get a hitch to centre town and there we got a pick up by the hosts of the resort. It went pretty clear that this was not a very fun place. Dietrich, a German guy about 70 years old seemed to be the only positive thing here. His wife was this typical Austrian bitch, okay that sounds a bit harsh. Soulless creature is better. The resort was like a German camp. I was put in Housekeeping, Mathias in restauration ergo dishwashing (lucky bastard). She would really patrionize people, and made me and others feel like a child, ("I don't like this, I don't like this at all, I'm very disappointed in you") but then the next morning she would be very nice to you and even touch your shoulder (argh). I had to work 6-7 hours per day without a pause, starting at 9 in the morning. You had about 10-15 minutes per room and you had to work freaking fast with eye for detail. Damn. I don't mind working, but around 13:00 I started to get really dizzy and almost hallucinating cause I didn't eat for hours. They said you COULD take a pause but than the costumers would complain that their rooms weren't clean yet. And yes, they complained very often. After just a couple of days Mathias and I, we became friends, we decided this will not do. Normally you had to work at the resort for 2-4 weeks at least, but we needed to get out!!! We met a girl called Natalie from Switzerland who was planning to go hiking the Abel Tasman track. She already arranged a ride from and too the start and ending point of the track (otherwise their are extremely expensive watertaxis) by the chef of the restaurant. Because he was good friends with the hosts and we needed some service, we had to keep the peace and keep our frustrations with ourselves. We already saw a girl kicked out because she made a scene. So we secretely came up with this plan late in the evening in the yoga room. We told eveybody we where interested in doing the track and explaining that we didn't had much time to do it. We arranged the ride with the chef, we could borrow his tent cause we did not have one and left our luggage behind. We told the hosts 3 days in advance our plans, which made the crazy Austrian flip (I'm very disappointed...blablabla). So without making further dramas, we went 😊 😊 😊
----Abel tasman coast track---
Finally something active, althought that's not the main reason why I'm here (what is then???). A 4 days, 3 nights trip, about 4 hours walking per day but up and down the mountain. This very popular hiking track is being visited by many daypackers (only walk 1 day, don't sleep in huts or camp). you had to book the huts and campsite in advance on the internet or by the i-site (tourist office with booking service) and they are very expensive. A hut costs about 40 dollar per night and a campsite $14 pp. The service they have at the campsites are very basis, water (not always drinkable), long drop toilet (big hole going dooooowwwwnnnnn and many flies) and sometimes a little shelter to cook your meal or a place to start a fire. There are no rubbish bins in national parks, so you have to take your garbage with you. You have to coss about 4 tides and plan your way around them, which means that sometimes you have to get up early (5 o'clock!) to be able to make it. My scouting experience really helped me pack my stuff 😉 I had put all my stuff in a garbage bag cause they expected rain. The first day was hell cause had to cross a tide that goes up to your knees (extreme mudwalking (wadlopen in NL))and we were soaking wet. Rain makes things so much harder, but kept our mood high! Luckily my sleeping bag and the rest of my stuff was dry.
That afternoon we were hanging out at some sort phone booth/ chilling shed. As soaked kitties we we're chatting with 2 nice, but not very bright American girls. A woman, that just made a phone call, asked us if we wanted a hot cocoa, cause we looked so sad. We all went for this and ended up having a very decent vegetarian meal with upside down pineapple cake for desert. The woman had the house filled up with family members and we had a great time with them! After desert, we went for a walk on the beach before going to bed and we heard a dog barking. Fearless as we are, we passed him with great courage, not hearing that someone was yelling to us. We stopped to see what all the fuzz was a about and a guy approached us. He invited us to join him and his friends in the backyard, near to the fireoven. We got wine and interested kiwi's, really sweet! Didn't got much sleep that night, but we felt really happy.
The following days we became good friends, talking about various subjects, religion, vegetarianism, philosophies, lifestyles. We kept bumping into the Americans, which we kind of tried to avoid because they didn't add much to the conversation. We drank wine and smoked a joint on the beach (still find it boring), I've send a message in the bottle (check; bucketlist), played frisbee, ate the best sandwich with tomato and hummus and saw possums (cute but ferocious) on the camping in the late evening. The weather cleared up and we contined the track with serious backaches but hell of fun. They track was amazing, it leads you through big mountains, beautiful shores, soft beaches and you keep walking through jungle with the million different sounds of birds and insects. The last part of the track was the hardest, cause everybody is tired and you just want to chill out. We had to do a detour cause part of the track was washed out by the rain. The chef picked us up and dropped me off in Takaka, an hour drive. He gave us a brownie and I gave him a hug 😊 The goodbye was pretty emotional, but we will meet each other again, probably in Europe!
After the drop-off I tried to get in contact with my new wwoofinghost Grant. Because I had about a hundred bags and I could repack my luggage I asked him to pick me up. Some hours later a van arrived with "tribulldrums" written and drawed all over it. A big dreadded man with a white beard and a hippie shirt got out and started talking to someone. I was not sure if this was my host, but when I saw him browsing the parking lot for hopeless travelers, I knew it was me he was looking for. I gave him a big smile and introduced myself. Grant is a true hippie, in heart and soul, vegetarian, no drugs, no alcohol, pro mother earth and a drummer by default. I felt a relieve coming over me when I set foot on Happy acre. After feeling very uncomfortable at Kimiora this was exactly what I need. A little piece of paradise with a beautiful garden, great sculptures, fruits, vegies and flowers, bamboo forrest a house and an huge inspirational music jamming/ artistic shed. The people living here are as it's surrounding, very inspiring, sweet, interesting and fun. Grant(51) lives with his British girlfriend Clair(31) and his 2 kids, Ananda (16) and Mukunda (10). They're also 3 other girls/ woman that are temporary living on Happy Acre. Really cool! One happy family with it's own customs and quirkiness. They all have dreadlocks and colorfull clothing. They're really sweet, positive, expressive and openminded people and I felt at home instantly. They eat vegetarian except Clair who eats sometimes meat. They try to live as eco friendly and sustainable possible. Very impressive. I worked for 5 hours per day for food and accommodation. This was a cute decorated caravan with 2 beds, 2 collonies of ants (genious creatures that will take over the planet one day, I'm sure!) and plenty of spiders (that eat ants apparantly). Equiped with water, a fridge and electricity, what else do you need?
The 5 hours per day of work consists mostely of gardening. I've learned interesting things in premaculture (eating from the land) and composting. But in the end, weeding was the most important thing (zucht). After a couple of days a girl arrived, Mattea. She went through a bad experience of wwoofing and was looking for a save haven. We connected directly and she was really interesting. She lives in a circus community, plays cute ukulele and is very creative. We became friends and had great fun working together, going to the beach, hitchhiking and just talking. Through clair I had the change to attend to some very nice workshops, expressive drance and african dance and singing. very interesting. I got to know very interesting people that I kept bumping into in Takaka and at Luminate festival (more about that later). All this made me feel like home, everybody knows and loves each other, they inspire you to be your best, loving, interesting, creative. I promised myself I will go back to this lovehub as Clair calls it. It's hard to explain this feeling, being loved and giving love are the most important things in life in our persuit of happiness. Without sounding like a true floatie and religious person...
I screwed up with the promise to keep this blog short, but there's so much to tell you guys! I want to share all my joy, sadness and lessons with you. So next time I will continue talking about the best time I had being at the Luminate festival, rejoining my french friends again and becoming a pro in UNO.
Hope you had joy reading this I will come back with my next blog asap.
Love you all, miss you a bit, and still very curious in what's going on in your lives. Keep me informed! For the Dutchies: break a leg(succes!) on the ice!
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