Time seems to keep passing along as I came, once again, to the realization that my time in New Zealand gets shorter and shorter. By my reckoning I have a little less than 3 months to finish up everything I’ve got to do in New Zealand. I’m not really worried about the ride anymore because by my calculations it’s only 2 weeks of riding give or take a few days so as long as the bike holds together for a bit longer then that part of the adventure is just about sealed up.
Being back in Pongaroa has been as relaxing as it was the first time I was here. I get to read a lot of books and watch heaps of movies (99% of which are non-fiction, as Max says ‘truth is often stranger than fiction.’) We’ve taken to a lot of fencing projects, some of which Alex and I started the last time we were here along with planting native plants around the farm. While I’ve been in town there has been a rally race that used Pongaroa as the hub (the most excitement I’ve seen in town square since I’ve been here,) and not a whole lot else to draw much attention to this corner of the world. The food continues to be excellent and the wine keeps me warm at night.
Speaking of native plants it’s nice to see people who make a conscious effort to promote and ensure that the native flora which to some extent promotes the native fauna. This is the second place I’ve wwoofed at where promoting native plants takes a priority rather than planting the exotics. I’m somewhat ashamed to say my knowledge of Hawaiian native plants is somewhat lacking, besides the kukui nut tree and some flowers used for making leis nothing else really comes to my mind which is somewhat embarrassing.
A somewhat funny story popped up in the news about a week ago that boggled me, here it is.
I’ve been here a little over a week now, thanks to Max for letting me take over the computer for a while to put back the pieces of humpty-dumpty here. I cycled over the Puketoi ranges this time making it one big loop to get back here. I also got to cycle through a few gorges which are always nice to ride through since I know it’s easier to ride through them then over a mountain range. The only downside to it was that the Manuwatu gorge is the major link between Palmerston North and Woodville which meant quite a bit of traffic.
It’s been a while since I’ve really written anything meaningful here since the site kept going up and down so bear with me as this might go back a while.
The two crazy kids in Wellington insist I only referred to them as the two crazy kids. So I figure I have to rectify this sooner or later. Sharon and Ellen (and Wayne who is now in the UK) I met while doing the Milford Track down on the South island. Sharon was nice enough to host me whenever I showed up in Wellington. It sort of got to be like the boy who cried wolf as I kept saying it would be the last time I show up in Wellington but then every weekend rolled around and I’d pop back down to Wellington for the weekend. So thanks to Sharon and Ellen for the wacky hijinks, the marathon watching, and the coffee drinking it was a lot of fun in Wellington.
As I mentioned in the Apples post I spent a few weeks pruning apple trees in the Totranui Orchard which was kinda neat. The best part was the apple juice and cider though. The ad for the place in the wwoof book says the apple juice tastes like it’s from heaven and thats something I’d have to agree with, it was a nice treat to start the morning with a nice glass of homemade apple juice and end the day with 4litres of hard cider (between 2 of us.) It was good fun there, listeing to the radio news and a movie most nights sitting next to the fire, good stuff.
It’s nice to be back in Pongaroa, a neat little spot in New Zealand. The work is hard but that’s a good thing. Directly after I arrived here Max and Jane told me the plans for me while i’m here. The main job is putting an extension on the house for which I was responsible for digging the holes where cement is to be poured. I think I dug around 3 cubic meters of dirt out of the ground for the first 4 days or so. The plan now is to pour the cement into those holes tomorrow along with the piles that the extension will sit on. I’ve also been fixing fences and digging around in the garden.
I’m not sure exactly what the plan is from here, I’m thinking I’ll get out of here around the end of the month and just finish up most of the ride, perhaps stay up in northland for a while and wwoof up there. There is finally enough daylight now to get in a decent ride without having to worry too much about running out of time.
As the saying goes fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. It seems the server I was on finally went kaput before I actually made a backup of everything agian so here we go again putting together the pieces. I think I have a system in place to put it back together faster this time (hopefully.) I’m hosted on a completely different server this time so lets hope thats the end of the problems.