Saturday, May 9, 2009

WWOOFing in Northland

Here area few pictures from Baylys Beach, one of the two places I spent a week at recently WWOOFing in Northland.

The first week I stayed at a remote backpackers outside Kerikeri, The Welcome Swallow, and did 4 hrs of housekeeping a day to earn my room and board. It was a beautiful little piece of bush, but quite far from anything. I had a fun adventure when I went exploring one day with a British couple staying at the backpackers. We went on a nice scenic coastal drive, and then headed to a thermal springs 45 min south. After a lovely soak at the local establishment, it was dark for our drive back. Not 10 min into the drive, the couple's van stopped, due to electrical problems. Luckily were were close to a driveway, so I knocked on the door and asked for assistance. The kind family helped us push the van into their driveway, and then proceeded to invite us in for dinner and offered us their two spare bedrooms for the night. We had a great night there, chatting and listening to music. The next morning we brought the van into a shop and the problem was fixed and we continued on our way back to the backpackers.

After a week at the backpackers, I hitched down to Dargaville, the cumera (sweet potato) capitol of NZ. I met Trish, my next host, and her work, and she took me to her home 12km away in Baylys Beach, as small coastal community of a couple hundred residents. Trish didn't have much work for me at her home, and I felt a little bad about that, but I had a great stay. She had a lot of family close by, and I got to meet the grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles. I went netting for fish in the ocean with the family, as well as watched a 'hunt' the cousins were in, which is some type of British sport where hounds are released and chase hares on a farm, and participants ride horses to follow and watch the hounds... Baylys Beach is known for its 100km long drivable sand beach (see the photos above). I drove the beach numerous times, well I was a passenger driving along the shores at low tide. It was quite a stunning beach, another amazing little place in NZ.

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