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December 12, 2011

Update
I went up north as planed, to a farm in Towai, a town consisting of a hotel and bar. The family there were nice, but could have been warmer. Nevertheless, they treated me well and cooked great food from the garden. My main job there was putting up the new fence; pain staking work, but I was happy to see it finished. During my ten days there I went sailing twice in the Bay of Islands. It was quite beautiful, and great to be out on the water. My farm host dived for scallops, and we ate some fresh out of the shell. They tasted strongly of the sea (of course) but fantastic sashimi quality! The second trip was a sailing race around the bay. We had to drop out after both front sails failed, one after the other. There was lots of yelling and water and pulling things. I enjoyed myself thoroughly, but I felt bad for the guy who owned the boat. I moved to a different farm near Hikurangi, a town that you can actually see. The family there were much nicer and I had a good time chasing cows driving the quad bike and assisting with freezer installation (the farmers other job). While I was “helping” with a chiller once, I got to help the customer with collecting the velvet antlers from his dear farm. They use a hacksaw, it was more bloody that I expected, but no worse than gutting the possum at the last place. Possums by the way are not like ours, they are a highly destructive invasive species from Australia, and are killed on sight.
From Northland I took a bus to Coromandel peninsula (seriously, look at a map). I came to the namesake town in the region…. Which was as small and boring as a wannabe tourist town with only three streets can be. But sense it was raining and I had nothing to do, and feeling somewhat lost without a plan, or more importantly a car to use in that plan, I stayed in a hostel for three days. By the time the rain stopped, I had met many friendly people, including two young Germans who offered me a ride to the fun side of coromandel. They took the scenic rout, and we hiked to a water fall and a kauri tree grove along the way. Chris and Lena are awesome. They travel spontaneously, and with room in the car I stowed along for about five days all the way down to New Plymouth, where we are now. I’ll post later about what we did, as to not lengthen this extensively. Now in New Plymouth, again at a hostel for a few days; although I enjoy some down time, I’m finding out that I get restless if I don’t have something else to move to. I don’t so much need something to be set up, as just being able to set something up. If I can’t see possibilities ahead of me, I loose ambition. Thankfully I’ve just found my next move: doing a work stay up the coast a ways until Xmas. And today I did some moving in the pub downstairs from the hostel in exchange for a free night, score πŸ™‚
My family might be coming to NZ for Xmas, so I have no idea what I’ll be doing then, but after the holidays I will definitely get a fruit picking job, and make some cash.
I’m having a good time, and NZ is a nice place, but it’s not crazy and new and exciting everyday. After being here a month, it feels like normal life somedays. Hanging with Chris and Lena, and meeting so many other travelers has been one of the best parts so far, and I will try to keep doing a lot of my trip this way.

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3 Comments
  1. Suz permalink

    it’s so hard for my stodgy old self to imagine being in a strange country with no one but those i meet on the road, and having it feel ‘normal’ or even boring.
    reading your blog is like reading a fantasy or sci fi story, so far outside my experience it might as well be on another planet.
    can’t wait to hear what happens next!
    khairete
    suz

    • Thanks Suz. I’ll just say, I don’t mean to sound like I’m not enjoying myself. I love doing this, and I love meeting people and everything. I only meant that it’s not as much like a vacation anymore. I’m settling in to always seeing new things, and not having much of a pattern of life, so when it’s slow, I see that as well. But you are right to call me out on that being in this situation at all is amazing, and not to forget it.

      • Suz permalink

        i’m not calling you out, babes, just remarking on how youth and age view things (sort of like the nurse and juliet.) clearly you’re having a monstrously wonderful time and fully appreciating all the various aspects of it. and that includes periods of boredom and restlessness. i’m just thrilled i get to armchair see it with you!
        πŸ™‚ khairete
        suz

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