Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Fun times Across NZ

June 20,
So the week after the PDC kicked off with a bang, Maria and I reunited to start our cavalier adventure across New Zealand.  We didn't know where we would end up, but we wanted to travel without spending any money on the touristy things.  By travelling and WOOFing with folks practicing Permaculture, we found a whole lot of hospitality and unique experiences that couldn't have happened otherwise.

Our travels all started in Te Moata, where we decided to bushwack our way towards Cliff Kuti cabin, an awesomely isolated buddhist hut right on a cliffside facing towards the ocean.

  Little did she know that my obscenely heavy backpack was actually filled with King Salmon (playas club!). we made Sushi in a cabin in the middle of the forest, which was pretty cool.  Despite the drafty winds, I managed to survive till morning, and we scrambled down the cliff face towards the Te Moata waterfall, which after a steep, jungly descent, makes the trip worthwhile.

I was machete'ing through the forest like a crazed Indiana Jones, or a reasonably competent Vietcong jungle scout. Needless to say, Maria stayed kept a few feet behind me, which was probably a wise choice.

Even though we were surrounded by pixie-esque fantails, waterfalls, and buddha statues, the wanderlust started to kick in after a couple of days, so we said goodbye to our good friends Eric, Tomoya and Kuiyka and headed up North to Coromandel.

For a few days we were hosted by the always amazing Jo and Bryan up at Koranga falls Eco-Village, which had some pretty inspiring houses all around, but a lack of young people around.

After 2 weeks travelling since the PDC ended, I almost felt spoiled seeing so many sights, and not settling down for a bit, so we decided to find a WWOOF host a bit further down South in Papamoa/Te Puke.

Wendy was one of the amazing folks I met up at the PDC, acting as a surrogate "Kiwi Mum" for the week.  I was pleasantly surprised that Maria wanted to keep travelling with me, since I felt like doing farmy-permaculture things instead of jumping out of a plane with a snowboard while skateboarding with a pizza in the other hand.  Regardless, I was stoked she was with me on the whole WWOOFing journey.  Having a sparkly german maiden as your companion always brightens your day :p

After we left Marias place we made our way to Te Puke, where we woofed at the the Biodynamic Witchcraft Sorcery Kiwi-Farm owned by Glen Atkinson.  Needless to say, the whole place had an enchanted, wizardly vibe to it.  If you ever hear a master of biodynamics give you a personal lecture on astral bodies for several hours, it's hard not to get caught up in the exciting/crazy possibilities of it.  Half the time my mind was blown, the other half...My brain hurt.  Needless to say, Biodynamics surprisingly makes alot of sense, especially in comparison to the warfare we wage on the soil, which we call conventional farming.

Pictured: The Basic theories of Biodynamics
   Anyways, the experience in Te Puke was awesome. After traumatizing Maria by making her see Prometheus, we were off again to Papamoa, to WWOOF at Trudy and Jaunty's place.  Trudy and Jaunty were amazing hosts, who has several acres and 2 kids who they were raising without the crazy influence of Justin Bieber and MTV.  It felt really good to be working outdoors; to be planting, harvesting, and weeding.  When I get back to the states I'll have to tie in some of the things I've learned into a Permaculture Consulting practice....yah....that's the ticket!

Anyway, we had one last big adventure in us, and decided to head up north to the Bay of Islands.  Last time I was here was with the mom, pops, and my grandma Betsy a bit more than 3 years ago.

We decided our last big event to do was to go sailing.  If you don't know about the Bay of Islands, it's insanely gorgeous, and acts as a sailors hub for sailing to and from Fiji and Samoa.  Maria was about to hitch a ride on a Katamaran to Fiji, but unfortunately, they didn't trust German sailors :I  Though we couldn't go sailing because of a rapist wind, we still managed to have a good ol' time up North.  

At this point, it had been nearly three months since I left the South Island.  Though I was having a great time,guilt and travel fatigue started to set it.  I think the bigger issue was that I had experienced what could be done with Permaculture, and felt the need to put into practice what I had been learning. It's strange that even in one of the most gorgeous places on Earth, with someone you care about, you can still get an overwhelming urge to call the trip to an end, so that's what I did. 

It was pretty sad breaking the news to Maria that I had to go down South alone.  Though I wanted to have her come with, I knew she wouldn't have a good time if she was waiting on me to edit videos while I crashed at my friend Rich's house.  So we talked, hugged, and decided to do a few more days of WWOOFing down south.  

I think it was very proper that our journey up North ended like it began, up near Lake Taupo.  Our last trip was to the Hot Waterfalls near Taupo, and it was a relaxing way to end the trip, knowing what would be ahead...besides 'thronin' out' with Game of Thrones.

Anyway, I'm gonna miss Maria when I head down South, but I'm sure we'll run into each other again.

Until the next adventure, I've got Orangutans to wrastle with, and Permaculture to explore.

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