What an eventful few days!
After 4 days of ‘in-betweening’ with our bus we have finally landed in Katikati at our next WWOOF.
On our way here we visited Cape Reinga, Paihia, Auckland (again), Thames, Paeroa, and the Hot Water Springs on the Coromandel Peninsula.
Cape Reinga was so magical! We did a day trip with the bus from Paihia and stopped several times along to way to check out some cool hikes, Ninety Mile Beach, do some Sandboarding (got my fix of sledding!), and finally arrived at the Cape. This place is really cool – it is the most northern drive-able place in New Zealand. The Maori believe that when a person passes away their spirit travels up Ninety Mile Beach (also known as Spirits Road) up to Cape Reinga where they will climb down the roots of a tree hanging at the very edge of the cliff and depart to their afterlife. It’s a very sacred place – walking down the path to get to the lighthouse (closest you can walk to see The Tree) gave me goosebumps. I’m not incredibly religious but it definitely felt like a significant and magical place. You are also able to see where the Pacific Ocean meets the Tasman Sea – it’s almost like a big white pool in the middle of the blue water where all the waves crash again each other.
On our bus to the Hot Water Springs we met some cool people and made new friends with Cecelia from France, Katie from England, and Nina from Switzerland!
When we got to our hostel at the hot water springs we dropped off our stuff and went to check out Cathedral Cove which is even more beautiful than you hear about and see in the photos. In the second movie of Narnia, The Prince of Caspian, when the 4 kids go through the wardrobe they come out through Cathedral Cove! We spent a couple of hours here and then went back to the hostel where we got some AMAZING fish and chips!
The Hot Springs which are just a short walk from the hostel were on my list of things to see but are only accessible during low tide – which for us was midnight. At 11pm Nina and I went to check it out – it’s pretty cool, you can dig your own little hot water pool in the sand! Because it was late and a bit of a walk we didn’t dig a hole we just strolled around and felt the hot water on our feet. It’s a lot hotter than I thought it would be but it felt like a little backpacker pedicure 😉
The next day we were dropped off in the small town Paeroa where Rachel and I hitch-hiked to Katikati for our next WWOOF. We caught a ride with Bev and Barb after having stuck my thumb out for a whole 10 seconds. We were picked up in Katikati by a lovely French girl names Aurore who is WWOOFing at our new location.
Our new location (which is not a blueberry orchard – sorry for giving the wrong info in previous post) is pretty interesting. I’m calling it the Hippie House. There is no wifi and it’s sort of like 2 portables pushed together with bunk beds, 2 bathrooms, and a tiny little kitchen. All the food is grown locally and we eat vegan food only – which is surprisingly good! I thought it would be like eating iceberg lettuce for a month but we have actually had some very tasty meals! They have built a really good outdoor living room with old car seats as chairs with a mix of blankets and old tables. While it’s a little different then what Rach and I are used to I’m loving it! Our job is to sell various fruits from cars and vans during the day. There is a big group of people who run the WWOOF (about 7) and about 30 WWOOFers in total here – being here over the holidays is one of the best decisions I feel like we have made. Not being home over the holidays can be hard but having lots of happy people from all over the world cooking and working and hanging out together is really great. Our work schedule is working for 3 days in a row and then we take 3 days off. For the first few days we work in partners – my partner is a sweet girl, Laura from Italy. We have been working from 9-5/6ish and in the evening we meet up with everyone else from the house and enjoy and glass of wine, some delicious dinner, a bonfire, and some music. We have some really talented musicians – another Canadian guy named Giam plays the guitar really well and a guy from France (Rachel’s partner) named Dimitri is amazing on the drums!
It has been really nice to settle down in one place for a bit instead of hopping quickly to the next place. We have been able to unpack a little bit and actually have time to get to know the people we are staying with rather than making a friend and then saying goodbye the next day. We have a fun little Christmas party planned for the night of the 24th with Secret Santa (and maybe even some gluwine) and we all have the 25th off so I think some plans are in the works for some fun group activities! The 26th Rachel and I will probably head into town for some wifi so we can message and video chat our families (18 hours ahead means I won’t miss virtually attending family Christmas dinner!)
Because we don’t really have any wifi, I’m sorry but I probably won’t be updating the blog for another little while! I will also update with some photos as soon as I have a stronger connection.. Sometimes it’s inconvenient not to have reliable internet access but I’m rather enjoying being a little disconnected.. It’s really pushed me to engage with all of our new WWOOFer friends and be present here!
Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to everyone! I hear there is lots of snow back home in Canada so drive safe getting to all your Holidays parties and family gatherings. Enjoy all the turkey and have an extra scoop of stuffing for me (vegan Christmas dinner doesn’t do turkey and stuffing). Sending all my holiday cheer your way! ❤️Xx