A change of season in nature and in our traveling lives
Suddenly life seems to go much slower, and yet much faster. Slower because being back in the working life, nothing much really happens; not enough to inspire me to write and tell you about anyway. But faster too, as you're constantly busy going about working, eating and sleeping without many appointed breaks for reflection...
Anyway, YES, I did get the job at the coffee shop in Arrowtown! It's a lovely, hugely busy place serving delicious coffee and award winning -obscenely good- sticky buns. However, at the moment it's very quiet: Summer and the beautiful autumn (with its indescribably colourful beauty -see pictures!) have passed, while the ski season has not yet arrived. Although I also got a job at a café/bistro in Frankton to fill in some extra hours, I still don't have much to do right now. Hopefully June will bring snow and tourists!
Did I mention how we got to live in the wonderful little house we're at in Arrowtown by the way? (Many people are looking for accommodation here during the ski season, so prices are ridiculously high and accommodation often of poor quality and very scarce.) Well, Robyn (the HelpX host) had the great idea of calling automotive garages and asking whether they know anybody who has a spare room. The first one she called had a woman pick up the phone who said "Well actually, my granddad is going away for the winter and we were getting a little worried about the house being empty all that time; let me talk to him." A few weeks later we moved into the cosy house and both had a job.
We are happy to finally settle down for a while after travelling for some time. It's pretty nice having a warm place to stay during the winter (with a big stove!) and be able to do things such as read, make jewellery and puzzles, watch all the permaculture videos we have on the hard drive, oh and did I mention I'm a professional crocheter now too? I make beanies for the local wool shop, after supplying all my immediate surroundings with woolly hats and still having too much time on my hands.
Yesterday I made feta cheese as well (with the recipe Robyn taught me), with goat milk provided by a friend of a friend from Te Anau (a couple of hours away). I called them to let them know I'd be interested, and lo and behold: just a couple of weeks later they needed to come to Queenstown for their daughter's driving license. It's so crazy how things just miraculously work out some times! They will be coming over next week for the 3rd time, while they normally hardly ever come this way...
However, jumping back in time, before we moved into the house, Lydia, Scott and I went on one more tramp called the Gillespie Track. It combines the lush rain forest with the stunning alpine views. Not too hard, only 4 days long, it was a great track. Though, we are very happy to have survived a couple of scarily dangerous river crossings. When the water comes up to your knees, it's fine, thighs is still fine, but when the raging water comes up to your waist, it's properly dangerous. With a huge bolder in front of me, not being able to move round it upstream and Scott on my side downstream, I could not move. Getting colder and colder and legs starting to wobble, I panicked. Realising there was no other way than forward (once you're in the middle going back is just as bad -if not worse than- going forward), we took small steps together and finally made it to the other side. Feeling the power of water first hand, knowing that one wrong move might result in being swept away and possibly drowning made a lasting impression.
The three of us finished the tramp off in style when Lydia and Scott suggested going swimming once we were alive and well (and dirty and smelly) on the safe side of the last river. We bathed and were just enjoying the warm sun on our naked skin when the jet boat on its way to pick up the less brave (or more sensible?) ones who had ordered a ride from the hut we slept in back to the car park, avoiding the river crossings, whizzed by. I guess that was a sight the jet boat driver won't forget easily! -and nor will the fisherman's wife who noticed her husband regularly peaking over to Lydia's beautiful skin. Scottie ostentatiously bended over to look for his underpants which appeared very deep down in his bag... I guess that'll teach him!
Finally getting ready for a winter (after 12 months of warmth), I send you all warm thoughts (which I guess you guys won't be needing with the Spring and impending Summer
With loads of love