hot tub, cold pool, steamin’ coffee.

Northland

Jan and Steve

I was sad to leave Kennedy Bay and Raewyn. We spent our last night steaming our own mussels from the estuary 100 yards away and frying up fresh snapper that was delivered from a neighbor. I kept thinking, how can we beat this? What will this next place be like? Why are we leaving a cottage with a short walk to the beach, a kayak to use at any time, fresh fish delivered to our door, Coromandel Town down the road with pancakes and bacon and fresh veggies…ooh I wanted to play sentimental music and hug Raewyn and tell her how special this place has been to me and how I long to come back and all of that jazz. When we left, she waved out the back porch, we drove around the driveway, and she had run through the house to wave to us from the front porch. That’s the kind of gem she is. I never wanted to leave her little slice of paradise.

Then we drove for six hours and passed a winery (free tasting!), a chocolate factory, a honey café, the oldest pub in NZ, and a tea house. We have a lot to do on our way back. Then we saw our next place. Whoa, whoa, whoa. We are dog-sitting for a couple as they tour the South Island. He is a general practitioner and they seem to have done quite well for themselves. We drove about an hour through a mountainous forest and then gasped when we saw the view. Another beautiful blue coast lined with lights of houses full of people who are lucky enough to live here, surrounded by huge rocks in the middle of the ocean (I love that). Our place for the next 10 days is up a hill across the street from the water, and though we arrived at night, I think their pool and hot tub have a view of the ocean. They have four small dogs, two jack Russell terriers and two something-or-others that are very sweet. I think we hit the jackpot here. Brittany found this job on helpx.net and I owe her a cup of coffee.

When we arrived, Steve made us French press coffee (we have only had instant for the entirety of the trip, unless we go out of course) and Jan put shepherd’s pie on the table. Then we had strawberries and oranges covered in cream for dessert. Does it get any better? Yeah. The shampoo is like pure coconut luxuriousness. Shampoo here costs around $10 unless you get the V05 like in America, even then, it’s triple the price. So this rich shampoo is lovely and my hair smells and feels like coconutty silk. Mmm.

Their house used to be an old schoolhouse, then it was used as a youth hostel, and Jan and Steve redid it about five years ago. There are extremely high ceilings, amazing chandeliers, blackboards on the wall in the living room, entire walls covered in bookshelves, and their red oven works by wood fire. My room is upstairs overlooking the pool. There’s a window three times my height that is covered in princess-like drapes that cover the balcony window. I am going to wake up and see the view for the first time and I hope I’ll be able to sleep even though I’m stupidly excited.

 

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