Saturday, March 26, 2011
It just so happened that we came to stay at The Mount during the week of the biggest summer swell. We Surfed the Mount Manganui beaches everyday we were there, it was pumping. Twice, we got to travel by boat to nearby Matakana Island to get after some early morning un-crowded waves with our Friend Vinnie whit whom we were staying as well as wife Kim, and daughters Olivia and Maya. They are fortunate to get to live in a large and beautiful house on the beach and were delighted to have us come and stay with them. We really enjoyed the accommodation as well as playing, singing, dancing, and having swimming races in the pool with the girls and their cousins and friends. Everyone we met there was so incredibly nice and fully supported our traveling mind-set. At the end of our time with them, Kim and Vinnie offered to let Tim and I take their two-person ocean kayak with us on our next adventures. We were stoked and happily accepted their offer as we were hoping to have access to a kayak at our next destinations, Coromandel, Great Barrier Island, and Waiheke Island. So, with our gear "all sussed out" we departed to The Coromandel with plans to return to The Mount!
We started off our three weeks in "Magical Mangawhai" attending an awesome show with two bands we had been waiting to see live since we both came to New Zealand. The Black Seeds with Katchafire opening was a musical experience of Epic proportions. Katchafire treated the crowd by playing all their old school favorites with everyone singing along, and The Black Seeds put on a true performance coming out to deep bass and traversing many different genres of music throughout their set. The next week, at the same venue, the Mangawhai Tavern, we saw Fat Freddy's Drop who also astounded the crowd with an excellent performance of truly unique sound (their song "The Raft" plays in the slideshow background). Working on historical Tara Road at the Avocado orchards, we worked picking avos, doing a bit of brick-laying, and a massive job of clearing fallen Cypress trees that had been interfering with power lines using chainsaws and tractor we completed the job in just three weeks. We also had quite a bit of time to visit the many beaches pretty much every afternoon, do an unbelievable hike through the Mangawhai Heads Cliffs where we encountered Kawakawa plants directly related to the Kava plants we had been farming back in Hawaii, and do some camping and fishing at Te Aria and Forestry beaches on the Pakiri Coast. As it was tradition at the farm for wwoofers to leave their mark in the hut where we slept, we did a "Hawaiian Style" painting montage to go out with class.