Rotorua Travel Blog

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backtracking a bit:

things got rough at the farm in kaeo, so i left early.

was going to travel with charlie, but she cut her cornea on a piece of i left her to heal. i miss her already.

dorla and juergen swept me away for a couple of days, feeding me wonderful food and touring me around northland.

i stayed in their beautiful house, all solar and wind powered.

and then - drove me all the way to my next host in kaiwaka!!

on the way, we went to ngawha springs, which was wonderfully minerally and smelly. puddles in the street bubble with volcanic energy.

we went to russell and i met a very interesting couple, helme and kiki heine (more germans!), children's book author/illustrators.

went to signal station in the hokianga harbour. i saw the tasman sea crashing against the pacific ocean, against a backdrop of sand dunes.

went to waipoua forest and saw the giant kauri trees. (they were nothing like the giant redwoods... they look prehistoric. like dinosaurs should be crawling around in them)


in kaiwaka:

i stayed at the otomatea ecovillage, with marijke and robert.

they are building a castle, made out of sawdust/cement bricks and solar power. their property is beautiful, and the house is gorgeous.

the first night i went to a community dinner there, and met 3 (german) wwoofers. totally awesome girls. maybe will meet up with them later on?

i did a lot of fence moving, some cow pushing, sanding window frames, horse poo shoveling and a little weeding.

i wandered around the peninsula and got lost several times trying to climb through the bush. ruffy the dog joined me.

prehistoric forest

i see why people have dogs! he was like a friend, wandering around with me and keeping me company. i even followed him now and then, trying to find my way back.

marijke and robert do "morning tea" between breakfast and (late) lunch. we sit outside and drink tea and eat snacks and spend a really long time just chilling out.

one of the horses wanders around their house area all day long, eating grass. she even joins us at the table for breakfast!


where i am now:


not CSing, but staying in a hostel instead. (my first time hostelling on my own, without a group!)

at an internet cafe, sipping chai.


what i am doing:

wandering around downtown, which is very empty and dead and awesome-feeling.

wandering through hot sulphur springs.

tonight, going to a touristy hangi and concert, to learn about maori culture and have a wonderful maori feast.

i shaved! au natural was just making me too self-conscious.

meeting up with a CSer today for coffee, maybe will rent a car with him and travel around?

maybe meeting up with some really awesome-seeming CSers tomorrow in Taupo to travel with them?

met Will last night, a young scottish traveler. he was photographing the same bubbling pond as me, with the same camera.

waitomo caves tomorrow? maybe taupo?

going to go wander around now.


odds and ends:

pohutakawa trees are the new zealand "christmas trees," growing all along the coasts.

mangrove trees grow in water.

kikuya (sp?) grass sucks. but its really fun to jump on, because its thick and a mattress.

goss sucks. don't fall on it.

likewise, thistle sucks. don't fall on that, either.

moving fences is hard work. make sure you don't get electrocuted.

the east coast of new zealand is considered the "feminine," because it is mellow and sweet.

the west coast is considered the "masculine," because it is wild and dangerous.

yalumba shiraz viognier is a superbly delicious wine.

"the bush" means all the foresty type stuff, and it seems to always be THE bush.

getting used to spirulina.

new zealanders aren't as nice as everyone makes them out to be - they're just like everyone else in the states. i think people are just fooled by the accent!

kiwis walk around barefoot, everywhere!

they say "trip" as "trup" and "fit" as "fut," and etc.

we're ferocious maori warriors!

we say "sweet," they say "sweet as." also, "grubby as," "funny as"...basically "as" means "very"

"flash" means fancy, showy, etc.


things i am learning about traveling / working:

this farm-hopping thing might not be right for me, right now. there is an awkward balancing act of private time / work time / social time. you are with people, so you have to compromise about schedules, activities, food. it's hard to find solitude because of the working obligation. and if you don't feel comfortable with the family, you are still stuck in a house on a farm with them. free accomodation and food is pretty sweet - and for the hosts, too! they are getting labor for much less than minimum wage, all for making an extra plate for dinner! hmm... have to figure this out.

i haven't really figured out the dynamics of this living with a family and working thing. when do i just stop working? it feels awkward to stop working after the agreed-upon 4 hours of work is done, when they are still working (that whole obligation thing). and since it's a farm, there aren't many places to go...

i'm not sure how to balance traveling alone and traveling with a companion. i like traveling solo because i can do whatever i want whenever i want to. but i want to share the amazing things i am seeing with someone.

i miss jamie. i love traveling with him. i want to share all of these experiences with him. really really.

i thought that i wanted to stay in one place for a long time, but i am finding that there is just way too much to do and too little time! i knew that would happen, but i didn't know i would care this much  hahahhaha. some time, i'll come back here and spend a long time in one place, one that i like, one that i found on this trip. for now, i'm going to wander around and explore.

i like the feeling of doing all of this on my own. i am figuring out how to do it, meeting people, caring for myself. it's a wonderfully liberating feeling! i can do it! :)


one thing i want to do:

stop saying "this reminds me of...". i want to appreciate where i am and what i am doing for what it is, for it's own thing!


a yummy recipe:

EGG NOG, by juergen and dorla

12 egg yolks

650 ml water

1 vanilla bean (scratch out inside and throw that in)

650 g sugar

250 ml alcohol (vodka or other neutral liquor)

blend, and VOILA! mmmmmmm

ecadwall says:
Everything sounds wonderful!
Posted on: Dec 19, 2008
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prehistoric forest
prehistoric forest
were ferocious maori warriors!
we're ferocious maori warriors!
photo by: Vanessa_Mun_Yee