As I said in the last blog, don’t plan too far ahead. Sometimes opportunities can come along and can’t be taken if you are locked into a schedule. But also sometimes locking yourself in for so long has its downside. What am I talking about???
We applied for, and accepted, a job working in a cafe at Makarora which was meant to last for 5 months from early November. I have to admit we were a little nervous about staying in one place for so long. BUT, we wanted to save for a trip to Australia and Asia and that was our motivation.
The long and the short of it is, we should have been there until April, but we ended up lasting only until mid-January. We enjoyed the experience of working in the café, but the overall experience wasn’t the best.
We told ourselves at the start of our travel ‘this is an adventure not a holiday’ and so off we went to find some helpx to keep us busy till April.
First stop was Lake Hawea, where we stayed very close to the lake with lovely Fran and did a bit of outside painting for her. We got to see the many faces of the lake and the surrounding mountains. Such a stunning landscape. And from Fran we went a little further back from the lake to a family of 4 who live in a straw bale house. Their home was lovely and cool on a hot Central Otago summer day. This time it was Buttercup that needed some help with decorating – making curtains and painting. Hamish was kept busy building ‘stuff’.
From Lake Hawea to Colac Bay via Lake Wakatipu for a few days. At Colac Bay we discovered that the bottom of the Te Waipounamu (South Island) is a beautiful place, with wild weather and a slightly warm climate. And yes we painted. This time a bedroom, complete with French windows. Our host is the owner of The Pavilions at Colac Bay and so we also helped out in the kitchen and café, baking biscuits and make coffees – feeling much more comfortable and appreciated in our work than at our previous cafe experience.
By early March it was time to leave there and wander up the coast. We travelled up through the Catlins area and stayed a few nights at Niagara Falls. The name of this area was given because of the similarity to the famous Niagara Falls ie waterfall spans the river. The only difference is that this waterfall is about half a metre high. The surveyor who named it was quite the joker. At Hina Hina we almost got blown away one day with 120km winds – we found sanctuary behind an old boat shed by the inlet and sat and watched as the wind howled around us.
Onwards and upwards we headed to Dunedin, and beyond to Waikouaiti, where we kept the theme of painting alive. At Waikouaiti we painted the interior of a 3 bedroom home. That kept us busy and out of trouble for a while. We came by this from a friend who knew a friend who knew a friend. While there we managed to have a bit of time off and saw our son Sam, did some maintenance of our house at Fairfield, and caught up with a few people. We even found time to go fishing, and with the expert support of Ernie we caught plenty of blue cod – Life is good.
On our way to Christchurch we stopped over at Hamish’s Mums place in Fairlie for a week. Now in Christchurch with Steve and Nicki we are on final countdown for our next big adventure. Early tomorrow morning we leave for Sydney, Melbourne and then Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam – a trip that will take us away for nine weeks.