Current Location: Otaki, Aotearoa

I left Levin a few days ago after saying farewell to Ken and Lorraine having spent a good few weeks there. I’m sort-of proud to say I’ve converted them to wwoofing hosts after having a good experience with me there. Sharon came up to hang out with us over the weekend as well which was fun. We went to a Simon & Garfunkel party hosted by some friends of Ken and Lorainne. The party was preceded by my first All Blacks game, it’s actually the first rugby game I’ve watched from beginning to end and I think I’m in danger of having that become one of my favorite games to watch. It’s a lot more visceral than anything in America. A lot of guys get cut pretty bad and all they do is wipe the blood from their eyes and look on, it’s amazing what they are capable of. All Blacks won, which was good since they lost last week.

I’m glad to say that the Winter (Summer?) Solstice has finally passed me by which means the days start getting longer again! As my aunt let me know it will be a while until I actually see some difference in the amount of daylight, but mentally it’s nice to know that i’m getting more time and not less to cycle. It’s also new years for the Maori (Matariki)

I’m at an apple orchard at the moment, probably for a few weeks as i’ll be making one more trip into Wellington this weekend to cheer on Ellen as she runs a 10k. A fun fact for people out there, if you eat a lot of apples, drink a lot of apple juice and drink a lot of hard cider your pee smells like apples. It’s mundane work as we’re pruning 909 apple trees that haven’t been pruned in 7 years but the time goes by quickly enough. They also raise pigs in the apple orchard and we’ve had some great pork since I got here. I’m trying to get him to smoke some pork using the apple wood we’ve cut down, that would be amazingly tasty.

On the agenda is Max & Janes again, they invited me back to Pongaroa and I had kinda half intended to go back there anyway so when they sent the invite I couldn’t resist. Which ultimately means that it’ll be at least mid July before I really start cycling again. I think once I leave Pongaroa I’ll cycle the remainder of the trip to get some good miles in before setting down to wwoof again.