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Tracey’s Travel Diary

Thursday, 17 May 2007

Location: Mapua, New Zealand

MapThey say that variety is the spice of life and thats what I am doing. It was a little sad to leave Manaroa as it was such a lovely place and I wish I had more time to explore the Marlborough Sounds.

At Manaroa I helped to tag the deer which were quite jumpy. Had to be careful now be injured by there long legs. Also it was interesting to know that they shear sheep twice a year - they intend to shear again in June (which is the start of their winter) but not all farmers shear so often. I helped to drench the lambs one day but everything is geared up to be a one man job so I didn't do alot. Did quite a bit of cooking as I had to look after the workmen who were staying on the farm while the family went away for a couple of days to town - so I was quite happy even though the cooker was a bit tempermental after powercuts and roast mutton turned into lobscouse (stew).

As town is quite far the family may go to town once a fortnight or have the food delivered to them if someone is passing by. One day we had food delivered and it seemed like Christmas as we opened box after box. The good thing was that being so far away from anywhere I didn't spend a single cent in 10. Also the post was delivered twice a week. There was a school not far away for primary school aged children but older children would have to go to boarding school or learn by correspondance.

From Manoroa I went to Nelson. Here I stayed in a hostel where they showed films everynight with popcorn. I spent half a day in Nelson and walked to the centre of New Zealand. Then I headed up the Coast to Takaka which is quite a hippy type place. Here I stayed with a German Physco-pherapist (that looks as if it is spelt wrong) called Volker. Here I stayed for three days working a bit in his garden and stayed in a yellow caravan. One of my jobs included plucking two roosters. Also I went cockle picking when the tide was out and cooked them for dinner. A guy from Taiwan who called himself Clifford was also doing the same as I was and we went on trips together when we had time off. The best day was going to Farewell Spit (Top of South Island) and went to a beach (where alot of people say that it is the most beautiful place in New Zealand) and watched seals playing.

Tuesday morning I left Volker's place and had a day walk in the Abel Tasman Park. It was another beautiful sunny day and I had a wonderful walk with lovely views - although I am getting a bit bored of secluded golden beaches, blue skies and sea by now. Only saw three other people on my walk. Saw two more seals, and dolphins in the distance whilst eating my lunch. Camped in the van overnight and surprisingly was quite warm.

Now I am staying with a guy called Rory near Mapua and I shall stay here for a few days before I go down the West Coast. Shall be planting some seeds in the garden this morning and finish the lawn mowing.