Tomorrow officially marks a week with us living at the Kaiteri Lodge and despite the menial task of stripping the beds, making the beds, mopping the kitchen repeat, I absolutely love it. There are a few things about this place that just kind of make me smile.
The view of our town from Takaka hill
First it is next the ocean which I will never tire of looking at. It isn’t warm and sun shiny right now but that is okay because no one else is around so it is my own. I have even been running every day just to have more reason to go stare at it. Additionally, I think that winter time is the best time to see a whale here. I have absolutely no evidence to back up this claim, no one has told me anything about seeing whales here, and there is a sign for penguins but someone told me it is too cold here for penguins right now which means everything I used to believe is probably wrong however it just feels right, you know? If I were a whale I’d be here right now… So yes, I’m surrounded by that salty smelling, blue shimmering beauty every day and even through the rain, which it has been doing a lot, I am still happy because of it.
Second, the people we work for are great. Adi and Caroline are very welcoming and they help share the load so we can have days off or switch our hours around so we can fit in things we really want to do. Sarah the chef makes us heaping plates of food every night that is put on the plate in such a fancy manner that it feels like we are at a five star restaurant. And the owner AJ is a funny, guitar playing, bar tending dude who has taken us to all the sights around here. Which leads me to…
Thirdly, this place is kind of what I would imagine old timers in Minster get misty eyed about. If you turned back the clock forty years in a small American farm town I think this is what you would see. Everything here goes slow because everyone has to stop and visit. Everything is closed by 7 and no one complains about the lack of convenience this causes. People leave their dogs tied on the leash to the outside of the store while they run in. For lunch, Adi brought in the eggs her chicken laid that morning and then gave some to Alex to try. We have spices growing around the hostel that we are free to use. Everything costs a little more and the options are quite limited but no one seems to mind because they know someone needs that job. I mean they still have a movie store! Aj took us to a bar where the same two people have been having a beer every night for the last thirty years, and then we watched them raffle off a sheep. When I told everyone about my allergies they gave me honey from a local farmer because apparently that will cure the spring time sniffles. The day we arrived Adi came and got us so we could go see an exceptionally fat duck that she’s had her eye on. I mean there is NOTHING to do, but with that, you find so much more to do!
So that’s my ramble about that. There is another girl here working for accommodation named Faith. She is a very sweet girl from China and she has been here for a few months trying to improve her English so that she can get a paying job. We took her on and adventure Adi sent us on yesterday to see the biggest hole in NZ. Getting there was just as much as an adventure as the trail though. We had a map, and it listed everything as a road, but when we turned onto it, it was little more than a rocky one lane dirt path that clung around the sides of a mountain for about forty minutes! Terrifying!
But the trail was awesome. I need to look it up to be sure but I think it is where they filmed the part of Lord of the Rings with the tree people (I was wrong). It was kind of surreal.
And then the hole. It was too big to see to the bottom so I don’t know how deep it goes but there is no railing or any safety measures at all (well… there is a sign) but you kind of clamor over rocks until you feel scared enough. Awesome!
I googled it and its 358 meters (metres) deep. It is kind of hard to tell but on the other side of these rocks is a giant hole. Alex wouldn’t let me get close enough to take a picture.
We went out to the Golden Bay too but by then the weather was bad so we just turned back.
The way back down the mountains was ferocious though. It was so steep and windy that we had to drop Faith out of the car to throw up. I was pretty close to it too. Despite the sickness, it was a nice day off and there weren’t many backpackers so clean up was pretty easy. Tomorrow we will be hosting fifty young rugby players for three days with a backpacker bus coming right in the middle so we are just embracing every second of quiet for now!
Love you guys!