First week of Woofing

Mangatawhiri Travel Blog

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French Woofer and some of the litter of 10 puppies
So I arrived in auckland and found it to be like any other city, noisy and generally not a place I want to spend a long time in. Feeling hungry, I went to the grocery store and found my playland, or rather, my bosses playland. Licorice we sell for $8 a bag is selling here for $2.50. We need to cut a better deal :) As well, a much better variety of pretty much everything. Including oils. Ken, if you are reading this, order Rice Bran Oil .Its the new olive oil . Only you can use it at really high temperatures. Everyone uses it here.  Other then that, loud and not so fun hostel (ACB) ... lots of STD's being passed around that place for sure. Ick.

So I got AWAY from auckland to one of the most beautiful places ever, Mangatawhiri, specifically the Te Maramaura vineyard.
This is the field of grapes that needed to be picked, wonderful colours.
Last night the rain started pouring down just as the sun was setting and it made the entire vista look like a Monet painting. The colours were just so beautiful. Unfortuneately pictures will not be forthcoming until I can get on a computer that can shrink photos. Or at least upload big ones.

I am here with a couple from France, and today we finished harvesting the grapes for the Shiraz wine. My god do those grapes taste good off the wine! Perfect days for harvesting, not to hot, not to cold. To celebrate our completion we had champagne. And tonight the hosts are making us pizza! Only un-fun part of harvesting grapes (eg clipping them off the vines) was that the last two vines were covered in Bees. I mean REALLY covered. To get at the grapes you have to rip up these huges nets (that keep the most of the birds out) and hundred of bees would come pouring out towards your face. I keep a very zen state of mind will clipping grape clusters that had 6 or 7 bees on them, thinking very un-threatening thoughts. Must have worked because I didnt get stung (even though they crawled on my face a few times, icky) while both the Hosts did. Got to hear some fun explitives from Andrew when the bee stung his hand while he was lifting an intensely heavy grape seperator. That could have been nasty.

Basically I am sleeping in a big comfy bed, drinking excellent wine, eating well, playing with a litter of ten puppies, and reading interesting books.

The hosts were also kind enough to take me down to the Miranda Shorebird centre, which is the reason I wanted to go in that direction anyways. I saw Many hundreds of Wrybills (SQUEAL!) A white heron, turnstone, grey plover, grey duck (or was it black duck, i cant remember) little black shag, Bar-Tailed Godwits, Black and Red Billed Gulls, Caspian Terns, Black Swans, Pied Stilts and a few more, but those were the highlights. Unfortuneately the centre is basically a giant cow pasture along a huge estuary. Would be better without the cows, Im sure.

Hope everything is well with all of you, and count on my getting pictures out to you again!
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French Woofer and some of the litt…
French Woofer and some of the lit…
This is the field of grapes that n…
This is the field of grapes that …