Day 325-327: Karamea, New Zealand

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Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » West Coast » Karamea
December 19th 2009
Published: December 19th 2009EDIT THIS ENTRY

It starts!It starts!It starts!

Taking out the windows

Thursday, December 17th

We realized that we’ve not given much detail about John and Margaret from the Karamea Holiday Park. Well, John is about 64 years old and Margaret seems to be in her late 50’s. They’ve run the entire park on their own for the last eighteen years. About three years ago John suffered a heart attack. Luckily he was at the medical centre when it happened, otherwise he wouldn’t have survived. They’re some of the kindest people we’ve met and we really like spending time with them. We’ve also fell in love with the park. It’s beautiful and charming, even though it needs a lot of work. It’s almost like home for us.

After breakfast we headed to the holiday park to start working on their telephone booth. It is in a terrible state and needs a paint job most urgently. We told Margaret and John a couple days earlier that we’d like to give it a new coat of red paint, but upon close inspection we realized that painting would be the very last thing we’d be doing. We would have to remove all the glass, strip off the five layers of old paint, sand it down, replace some panels and dowels, and only then would we be able to paint. Well, we said we’d do it, so without delay Talita started stripping the outside while Ferdi removed all the glass (he didn’t get a turn with the heat-gun until quite a bit later). Those of you who do not know Talita personally might assume that Ferdi’s dragging her into all these crazy projects. Those of you who do know her will probably realize that’s very likely not the case. In fact, she’s probably guilty of getting us into more “things” than Ferdi, although he does his best to keep up with her.

Anyway, by lunchtime the glass was out and Ferdi took down the door while Talita continued stripping the exterior. The going was slow, but at least we could see the progress. By 5:30pm we called it a day, but before leaving we made space in John’s huge shed and unloaded our canoe panels. We want to get the phone booth done before we continue on the canoe. We need to go to Westport before we can continue with the canoe, because we need to get fibreglass and epoxy and a bunch of other things.

Back home we had a beer on the veranda followed by a shower and dinner. We watched a Casper de Vries show, read a bit and slept the night away.

Today’s highlights:
1. Getting a lot done on the phone booth

Friday, December 18th

After a good night sleep we were up early, and after breakfast we headed over the holiday park to continue work on the phone booth. To be honest, we felt a little overwhelmed with all that had to be done. It was a far greater job than we had ever anticipated, but there was no turning back now, so we plugged ahead, making slow but steady progress.

By 4:30pm, covered in paint chips and with aching arms, hands and fingers, we called it a day. We were knackered, we hadn’t finished all we’d hope to accomplish today, but the box was starting to look like it was getting somewhere.

Back home we had a beer (for those aching muscles ;-), followed by a shower and dinner. Our spirits picked up a great deal when we looked through some pictures and saw just how much we’d accomplished in the last two days. Not bad for two kids who’d never used a heat-gun before or attempted to restore anything!

Today’s highlights:
1. Seeing the progress we’d made on the telephone booth.

Saturday, December 19th

We woke to a very wet morning in Karamea. Since we couldn’t work on the telephone booth in this weather we decided to go to Westport to buy the rest of the things we’ll need to build our canoe. In truth, we were glad to have the day off. Our hands were stiff and hurting from all that unfamiliar exercise.

Once in Westport we headed for the Mitre 10. We couldn’t find the Epoxy Resin we were looking for, but had read that another guy used Polyester Resin to build his canoe, so we got 6 liters of that. We needed 9 liters but they didn’t have any more so we’ll have to order it in and have it delivered. We got all the other things we’d need, but it was turning out to be a bit on the expensive side and Ferdi started to balk. Talita, in her familiar and patient way, coaxed him through his little fit and we eventually left with 80% of what we’d hoped to get.

Then in was on to the grocery shop where we bought a ton of food. For lunch we had burgers at a takeaway shop, then got Ferdi a proper fishing reel. Now he has no excuse if he doesn’t catch any fish. With that we were done in Westport and headed back to Karamea.

The rain just kept on coming, and when we got close to Little Wanganui the paddocks and fields along the road all looked like lakes with trees sticking out of them. Everything was flooded, even a part of the road. We had no choice but to go for it. The water was pretty deep and we just hoped that it wouldn’t stall the engine. We made it through and headed to Paddy’s for a visit. En-route we encountered another flooded road. We said a little prayer and went for it again. We made it through and when we got to Paddy’s we found him working on another flute. A packed of biscuits, two cups of tea, and more than two hours later we headed home. We spent so much time laughing that our faces hurt.

Back home we encountered some soaked chickens. After feeding them we unloaded the van, and Talita cooked dinner. We were quietly enjoying another cup of tea when the Bus Rat suddenly came flying out from behind the stove, almost running over our feet in an attempt to escape the bus. Talita almost suffered a stroke and screamed so loudly that Ferdi nearly had a heart attack! It appears that Mr Rat was hiding behind the oven until he could stand the heat no longer. Mr Rat and his friends had been munching on the poison we’d left for them, so maybe they’re going mad from the effects.

Talita’s dinner wasn’t all she’d hoped it would be and she vowed never to cook eggplant again. After dinner Talita spent some time chatting on Facebook while Ferdi played guitar. Much later we had a cup of tea then called it a night and crawled into bed for what we hoped would be a great night sleep.

Today’s highlights:
1. Getting most of the goodies to start building the canoe.
2. Making it through two flooded roads.
3. Another fun visit with Paddy.

Additional photos below
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19th December 2009

Egg Plant
Hey Talits! Eggplant is easy to make..a few italian triks... You first cut thin slices off the actual egg plant you layer them out in one of those holed containers and you put salt (quite a bit of salt) you leave it for a couple of hours like that so that all the bitterness of the eggplant goes away- once you dry the slices of eggplant you grill them in a pan- once is nice and grilled you put them in anotehr container you wait for them to cool down and then you splash olive oil and balsamic vinegar as well as fresh mint- you can actually then use the egg plant for a week with this method and put it into sandwich or just eating them like that- i also find it very tasty if you put it on pizza! hope this helps! :)

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