I finally (what is it 2.5 months into this adventure?) figure out how to navigate by having the sun AHEAD of me when going north. This may explain why I have had to backtrack so frequently. My internal default direction finder expects the sun to be in the south. One more time and I get it. Driving is such a great meditation until the next stunning view appears around a corner. I must be getting jaded I only saw a few! Stop to pick some apples from some trees beside the road, a late Gravenstein and Cox's Orange Pippin. Yum! Passed a cob cottage in Amberley and thought about declaring my intention to go forward with a certification to become a Permaculture ..... practitioner? Whatever. I have some ideas and a desire to implement them.
And I want to acknowledge how truly inspiring you have been for me Brandy McPherson! How your dedication, commitment and perseverance in pursuing your vision has been a source of inspiration and modeling for me. I have much and huge gratitude for encouraging me to pursue this path. Thank you Brandy.
I have spoken to many people about OUR Ecovillage, encouraging folks to visit the website if not the physical location. New Zealand has had a community friendly climate and although some are successful there are challenges. I realized part way into the course at Tui that everything I have been interested in, studied, read about and practiced is part of the Permaculture reality. With my knowledge comes some wisdom and a desire to implement. I have a big vision of how that will eventually manifest, it needs more work, but I am excited about creating and collaborating to make it real.
Other trains of thought around men's weekends, initiation loyalty, commitment. It is all connected to the idea, the understanding of community. My excitement is palpable, these folks I am speaking with in communities all around get my enthusiasm and passion.
I stop in Cheviot and chat up some ladies selling homeknit hats, scarves and sweaters of Cheviot, Romney and Leicester wool. I cage some spun wool for my weaving and continue on. Take a side road down towards Gore Bay and the mouth of the Hurunui River. A great campsite there, my reconnoiter of the South Island keeps inspiring me to pursue Mike and Ikes Hike, Bike and Kayak the world company. The inaugural trip with the principle players, a co-operative ad/venture would be to discover what we need to provide for folks who come to visit Vancouver Island by experiencing what WE need when traveling. Who is interested? How am I going to finance this? got any ideas?
Kaikoura is a great spot to stop, I check out the beaches , shops and crayfish at the takeaways. Unbelievably (yah right!) I buy two books at a used bookstore (open on Sunday? amazing) and wrestle with buying stuff for all my kids and best friends and close acquaintances deciding in the end ( I hope) you will just be glad to have me back home and with lots of pictures. I did buy something for myself though...
The road along the coast here is spectacular, huge crashing waves against the rough boulders strew about the beach, layered headlands jutting into the Pacific. The railroad hugs the coastline here too, making it impossible to access the beach (with a vehicle) in places. Around a corner and I see three tunnels and a cave on the beach. More tunnels as I snake back and forth along this wild coastline. The spray is creating a mist, the tide is full.
I pick up a hitchhiker, Eric from New Mexico who works "on the ice" cooking for upwards of 11000 at the American Base in Antarctica. Flights home and back are free and the time in between he explores, traveling mostly it seems in NZ. He was off to visit some folks near Dashwood at the Oak tree Cob Cottage. I got to visit briefly too, a 100+ year old cottage being renovated on 5 acres of well kept grounds surrounded by vineyards. At the moment some are draped with hats, pants or full body suits to keep out the birds although some are bare and employ guns, warning signs at the corners. I managed to sample a few varieties, by reaching under and helping myself. Crossed the Redwood Pass 197M nestled into the yellow brown rounded hills of dried out pasture, eroded cliffs with hoodoo like arroyos right up against the switchbacking road. My lack of camera may be an asset to my writing eh? or not.
Blew through Blenheim and parked near the ocean at Rarangi. Watched an amazing red sunset and spoke on the phone with Bill from Christchurch who I was meant to stay with. He is off to China leading a garden tour at Easter. Then texted some Permaculture friends and wrote into the night. Picton is just around the corner...