I’m sliding out of the Northlands like sap—slowly, thickly, reluctantly. In the past week and a half, I don’t think I’ve driven more than 100 kilometers. When I first realized that I had another month here, I was initially disappointed that it wouldn’t be spent in the peaks and fiords of the South Island, New Zealand’s attention-seeking little brother. But, even if the scenery of the North Island doesn’t make you gasp and yodel, it certainly brings out hums and whistles.
I’m on the West Coast, the great unknown. “I’d be happy to tell you about the weathuh,” she told me, “if the foecasters acknowledged that we exist he-ah.” Why people rarely come I don’t know; it’s beautiful. Here in Omapere, salty harbour blows kisses at rolling pastures which rub shoulders with lush tropical forests which have tea with giant sand dunes. And the green, the GREEN is of an intensity, shade, and expanse that photos and words are too flat for. Best I can do is call it an assemblage of cucumber, mint, lime puree and fingerpaint.
I’ve also found my comfortable compromise with “woofing” (working for accommodation). Yesterday I spent the day gardening the jungle that surrounds The Treehouse–cutting down trees, ripping vines. Not only did it cover 3 nights’ lodging, but it was satisfying in the way that knocking over a giant block tower is when you’re five. Tomorrow I’ll be pruning bamboo here at Globe Trekkers. Toilets, I can’t do. Hanging outside with some sharp tools and gumboots, this is “work” I can handle.
”The world is sweet in the heart, and green to the eye….” —Muhammad