Tuesday, December 05, 2006

living in a volcano

Well, i guess i should explain. I am on the Banks Peninsula, off the coast of the south island just south of Christchurch. The whole area is the remains of an extinct volcano that has collapsed and since been eroded by the sea.
My hosts, John and Julie, and their son David live on the steep side of an inlet overlooking what was the centre of the volcano, a small pointed headland sticking out of the middle of the bay. Steep sided valleys in green, dropping down onto a large sheltered area of nearly inland water.
Got here on the the bus from Christchurch arriving an hour and a half later, we stopped on the way for several photo opportunities, the coach driver gave an amazing commentary all the way.
Dropped my bags in the hall of the house and headed straight out with David and another couple of visitors to the beach to surf and swim for the afternoon. Sea was rather cold even in borrowed wet suit, though soon warmed up in the searing sunshine. Saw seals on the rocks and one of the others saw a dolphin. Not to worry, aparently they're about in the bay all the time. Think i'm gonna like living here for a while.
There are going to be 6 or 7 extra helpers here when they all arrive, at the mement we are 5, 2 french, 1 swiss and 1 american, and all getting on well, doing a viarety of tasks in the mornings and heading off to the beach, to walk or just chill and read a book for the afternoon. We all eat together in the evenings with the family which is very welcoming and enjoyable. The big flower pick doesn't start for a week or so, so we're doing all sorts of other things.
John is hugely passionate about native flora and fauna and has bought a large swathe of valley which he is single handedly returning to native bush. Raising plants from seed and establishing them on the slopes. Also trapping introduced animals such as possoms and rats that prey on indigenous wildlife of both plant and bird variety. We have already helped with transplanting seedlings and clearing round young plants that have been in the ground a year or so. No photos from here, have the slowest connection in the world, but very kindly for free!


Anonymous said...

I am sooooooooooo envious! Plant a few seedlings for me!!! Already I am wondering if we will ever see you again!

xx Moi & Peter

simon & alex away on tour said...

All sounds very idealic, don´t decide to stay here as it is too far for a couple of days visit in the holidays!!!

joy said...

great start! so much fun .. of course it's rainy and windy here .. not that I'm envious . .doh!!