This week’s report, apart from being late, is lacking a steps graph. I’ve chosen to omit it since I haven’t really been ‘traveling’ this past week per se. I left Napier on Thursday and started doing a work exchange for a family that lives close by in Puketapu. I have been working a few hours a day here and in return receive room and board. Mostly housework, gardening, some help with their various animals, normal animals of dogs and cats, along with a more exotic animal selection of ducks, chickens, sheep, and horses.
The dogs especially have taught me a practical example of a Sisyphean task. There are three dogs, and they all demand attention. It becomes stressful when you are trying to pet them and they all freak out when you stop petting them. I only have two hands, I can’t pet all three at once! They are well trained though and follow me around the property when I go for walks. I have also met the world’s friendliest cat. He will sit in my lap for an hour purring the whole time and is not afraid to be cuddled in all manner of ways.
The family I am staying with is a lovely English family who moved here a few years ago. A single mother with four daughters, it is a bit of a chaotic household as one would expect with three teenage girls and one seven-year-old. I do not mind though. They all have great accents which always make me think of the scene from Forgetting Sarah Marshall where Jonah Hill tries to imitate Russel Brand’s voice.
I had originally planned on doing the Tongariro Crossing on Christmas day. A twelve-mile hike, it is generally considered to be the best single day hike in New Zealand taking approximately six hours, depending on how often one might stop for pictures. It seemed to me a really cool way to spend Christmas day. Kyle and Elvis had thought about joining me as well for it. We were all indecisive about what we wanted to do for Christmas and New Years. But I find I quite like it here and will be sticking around through til early January at least while Kyle and Elvis have taken off for the south island already. After we left Auckland, Napier was the first place where I stayed multiple nights in one place. Having the consistency here again is nice, though I do look forward to getting back on the road again, but not yet.
I’ll see you where the roads meet.