Before availing myself of the lift offered by the two young French girls, who were going to the same host as me to wwoof, I had the need to get a pair of bolt croppers, as i had lost the key to my security lock for my rucksack. Fortunately the back packing hostel had one, as this sort of thing has happened before.
I did not have a car on this visit and as also i have not been able to track down my old Jack Taylor bicycle that i used on my last visit here in 2003. It was decided to return to my favourite part of North Island, the Coromandel Peninsula, which is on the east coast. The two girls were going to stay with John, who i had stayed with before. His farm is beautifully set on hills overlooking green fields of cattle country eight miles from the main town in the region, Thames. The views are outstanding and constantly change with the weather and time of day. His house is constructed from rimu, a reddish local hardwood. It was trucked to its present position some years ago from another region after an earthquake there, but before doing so it had to be cut in half for transporting.
There was a variety of tasks available to me, such as mending chicken fences, pruning hedges, weeding the veggie patch, cutting grass, removing tree stumps with a spade and pick axe, stacking fire wood for the wood stove. At night we went possum hunting which is a pest imported from Australia; they ravage woodland by stripping tree bark. I have a new friend, Polly the Staffordshire terrier who accompanies me everywhere and was always looking for the opportunity to play games.
All in all my time at John’s is proving great; outdoors in the wind and sun of the springtime that is making me weather beaten and tanned, and oozing wellness. The only downside is that i have been eaten alive by sand flies, little critters that leave nasty red lumps making you want to tear at them with your fingers to relieve the itching!.