Okay, we’ve been in Karamea for 7 weeks and we still have 2 weeks to go before we move on. Karamea is a small town with a population of just 575. It has:
- an information center (which is also the place we go to for printing things like our ballots)
- one 4-Square (a small, very small, Crosby’s)
- one hardware store that has everything else the 4-square doesn’t (socks & clothing, fishing supplies, gum boots or wellies, fire strater, birthday cards, firewood, plants, and also acts as the local post office)
- one kinda alternative new-age store called Global Gypsy
- a farmers market on Saturdays but so far no fresh fruit or vegetables, maybe 5 tables with a mixture of overpriced baked goods, knitted wear, pickled everything, plumbing pipes of different sizes and curvatures, peacock feathers and handmade wooden trains
- a school
- 2 pubs, one inside the Karamea Hotel and the other in the Last Resort.
- 2 churches
- a butcher that’s located off the street – you never know if or when it’s open
- a couple of ice boxes around town to buy fresh eggs from
- a little unmanned farm stand with eggs, tamarillos and/or passion fruit
- a place called the YMCA which is just a hall where public events happen but we haven’t seen anything happen yet
- and we hear there’s a gym somewhere around the back of the school – basically a room with weights
That’s it. So what have we been doing with ourselves? Are we bored yet?
Well I’ll tell you. Not one moment of boredom. Not one thought of “What shall I do next?”. Not one game that we brought with us has come out of our bags. We haven’t even used the juggling balls we brought, or the jumprope.
New Zealand has the biggest pigeons!
For really the first time in our lives we have as much time as we want every single day. Actually the day passes way to quickly, but other than that we can and do go for walks, spending time in the nature we love and never had time for. We can read, one by one, any and every book we want to read! Sure, there will always be more books we want to read because there will always be more written, more to discover and how amazing is that!? We can watch every single video, film or documentary we want to watch. Before when I had so little time, when Blane wanted to watch something that I didn’t I either wouldn’t or I’d get annoyed thinking “why is he wasting my time?” because my time was precious to me. Now there’s no pressure so I and we are watching whatever interests us – and although our interests are already pretty wide and diverse they’re growing even more because we’re sharing more with each other!
The Weka bird is flightless and is known to steal food and any thing else that’s portable from hikers. This was our first of many sightings just before getting on the Heaphy Track.
We plan nothing! We wake up when we wake up, the average is 7am but sometimes at 6am and sometimes, but rarely, at 9am. We take our cues from the weather which can be anything from rainy, hail stones, cloudy or sunny with gorgeous blue skies. If we’re hungry we eat and if we feel like we want some air or nature or to see new sites, we walk or drive so we can walk around a place that we particularly enjoy or that is new to us. If we sit down it’s to do our art, it’s to learn a new skill, to communicate something, to listen to something and oh yeah, to eat something.
Our days are full of following the trails of our interests. And that is so fulfilling it brings tears to my eyes. This is what we needed, this is what we craved – this following the trail to what informs us, what delights us, nurtures or relaxes us. This cannot, could not be planned. It wasn’t even a dream or a vision we had. What we are doing, what we are experiencing is beyond what we could fathom we needed, wanted or even knew was even possible.
Blane playing with a random dog on the local beach. We walked for 3 hours one day and didn’t get to the end. Okay we were playing with the waves, but still, it’s beautiful and seemingly endless and we hardly saw a soul the whole time!
Looking at what I’ve written, it’s obvious that we craved growth, that we craved living outside the box we had found ourselves living in, restricted by time and limitations of perception.
This is our favorite beach game! It’s so simple and just makes us laugh so hard. Actually on the days I’ve gone barefoot, it’s actually kind of a bummer because what’s there to run away from if you dressed to get wet?!
Many of you reading this, know us both so well, know the kind of connection Blane and I have, that I don’t need to tell you that we are here together, in this same place within ourselves. And we’re doing this, sharing this journey, this life. Its amazing and this also brings tears to my eyes. This is where Blane would laugh at me, chide me, hug me and as I think of this my heart feels full and I smile.
The local estuary which, like the beaches, is incredibly beautiful and has the most interesting drift wood.
As I read this to Blane he tells me he now knows how to make gas masks out of plastic water bottles and what you can do if you need two batteries to run a flashlight or other device, and only have one. He’s so sweet!
Before we left we bought an iPhone/iPad microphone, a Shure MV88, knowing that when we’re ready we’d do video blogs and start interviewing people we meet on the way. I ventured into trying it recently with this video I made and posted on our Facebook page. I just love our new microphone!
I had reposted on Facebook someone reciting a poem about accents, a woman saying that her parents accents always took her to foreign lands and that felt like it hit home and reminded me of growing up using French words that I thought were English and it reminded me of this.
Amongst all that we’re doing there’s also planning and scheduling our version of our future to be taken care of. Right now we’re scheduled to be here in Karamea until October 13th. Then we spend 5 days (over my birthday) in an Airbnb in Lytelton, 5 weeks in Akaroa (a 3 week house-sit and a 2-week Workaway), and a month house-sit in Wellington and that brings us to January 6th. We’ll have another 2 months to spend in New Zealand and then we’re off to other lands – and at this time we’re thinking of Cook Islands, Tonga, Fiji, over to Australia, Tasmania and then to Indonesia, most likely spending a couple of months in each place until we get to Indonesia where we’ll stay as long as we like.
If you want to get extra bits & pieces about our travels and any thing else that amuses or concerns us, make sure you’ve friended us on Facebook!