Sunday, 17 January 2016

Takaka and the Golden Bay

Upon meeting Abbie and little Pippa, her 2 year old daughter we were taken back to the farm where we were made to feel at home and had our first lush homecooked meal - Spag bol! The meals with Abbie and Travis were amazing as well, lots of curry, pasta, roasts, etc. We met Travis after he had finished milking the cows and also met a friend of theirs who came over for dinner.

We started work the next day and really we didn't work much over the next week and a half! We did around 2 hours everyday and had two days off to explore the area. Our main job was painting a bedroom and a hallway as Abbie was expecting another baby in March so it was in preparation for that. The spare room was being converted into a baby room. We had to strip the wallpaper and then paint over with an undercoat and 2 coats of paint. We got the undercoat finished in the first day and then we just went for a walk in the afternoon. The next day we had off to go into Takaka and we met the New Zealand Wizard, or Gandalf as he is known. He's a total hippy guy who is an ex cop and decided one day that he didn't want to be in the system any more and so just smokes and became a Wizard, and does everything he can to promote how we are being screwed by the governments etc. It's actually a very cool guy.

That evening we were invited along to a BBQ at Abbie's Parents friends house which was right on Pohara beach front and the BBQ was amazing - Lamb and pork chops, steak, sausages, burgers...!

Other days we went for walks, Abbie's Parents and their friends came over and they took us Salmon Fishing at the Anatoki Salmon farm down the road. Bait and fishing rod is free and each fish you catch is around $22 then you can choose to have it filleted, smoked or into Sashimi. As it was a beautiful day the place was rammed so it was tricky trying to catch any fish. But patience paid off as after half an hour or so Pierrick managed to catch the first one! Then he chucked the rod back in without thinking he'd get anything, just as a way of passing time, and 5mins later, he had another one! So this time I said I would kill it instead of Abbie's dad. We then got one smoked in basil and garlic to take home and one Sashimi for lunch and it only cost us $22! It was amazing!

We also spent one very hot afternoon down by their private piece of river and Travis brought down the tubes and after taking ages to get used to how cold the water was, we tubed down the river.

Travis also took us out one evening to see the cows being milked. Obviously with 700 cows its not by hand so he showed us the milking shed, how they round up the cows, how they are milked (by a rotating 52 hold milking platform) and how it all worked, where the milk goes after etc. It was super interesting! He also took us down to see the pigs which they kept for meat and their Kune Kune (Koo-nay) pet pig Smudge who looks a bit like Pumba from the Lion King.

We finished the painting on the Tuesday and so after that our chores were a little bit of cleaning here and there, windows and skirting boards, doors, kitchen and bathrooms. On the following thursday Abbie took us out sightseeing to the Golden Bay and Farewell Spit which was really nice of her. She took us up to Travis parents farm, into Collingwood and up to the Spit then we went for pie and a famous homebrewed Cider at the Mussel Inn.

Friday Abbie's Parents were coming to stay so we had to leave their house and luckily Travis's brother needed us to look after their pets and housesit while they were away for the weekend which suited us fine! We got to look after their two young kittens and dog and just had to hoover the house but basically they said help yourself to food and enjoy the hot tub! Which we did! Lol

On the Saturday was the annual Takaka Agricultural and Pastural show which is basically the event of the year and a farmers convention plus fairground for the kids so we went to check it out and walked into Takaka one last time before we were due to leave. We said our goodbyes to the Wizard!

On Sunday it was time to leave Golden Bay and Abbie's Parents kindly gave us a lift back to Motueka which is where we would pick up the Stray bus to the Abel Tasman National Park that afternoon. It had been another wonderful WWOOFing experience and we hope it continues!

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