Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Staying around for a while longer........

I have been curious ever since i arrived back in Christchurch about staying here for a while, not just a few months for a holiday, but longer, to see what the winters are like and what it might be like to live here for a while.

It's taken a bit of time to decide, but right now it feels like the correct thing to be doing. So this is the plan. To research the immigration procedure and discover how to go about staying for longer. It may not work out or it may be amazing, i have no idea. All i know is that i like it here and want to experience it some more.

Christchurch seemed like the best place to start on my plan, so i've been staying with a good friend, Jo, who i met at the first farm i worked at last year and again this year, She lives close to the centre of town with her daughter and a lodger and was more than happy for me to stay for a few days.

The Immigration Department was easy to find and the process sounded quite simple to start with, although there is plenty to do to fulfill all the requirements. To stay, i need to secure a job for 2 years, although i cannot actually start working until my application is approved, provide a police check from the UK and have a full medical. Then present my application for approval.

So i am out and about deciding where i might like to stay for a while and checking out the job opportunities as i go. There is minimal unemployment here so i think my chances may be quite good. Will just have to wait and see.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Chill time

The party weeks are over now and the farm has returned to normal. Guest numbers are now only in single figures and our tasks are returning to normal. So thats back to the veggie garden for me. Am sharing the task with Pierre so that we can get it tidy and replanted before the autumn so that there is plenty of fresh produce for the winter. Martin and Fouade are busy making jam and bottling fruit from the orchard, Nick has an endless task of freeing a long hedge from bindweed and tradescantia, James is off tramping for a few days, Terry is busy moving house and i think thats everybody whos here at the moment apart from the owners, Peter and Pete: they are busy planning their summer holidays, a trip round the south island and are more than happy to leave the staff in charge for the month that they are away.

We are getting plenty of opportunities to get out and about now, walking in the Abel Tasman National Park is wonderful. A bit of a drive to get there, then we caught a water taxi along the coast to a wide beach where we stopped for lunch and to soak up the sun for a while. A few beers later, to lubricate the walk back, we set off up the estuary until it was shallow enough to cross, over flats of crunching seashells and slippery mud before leaving the beach for a coastal track through the bush. We could hear the sea through the trees and caught the occasional breathtaking view of the ocean, snady beaches and stunning cliffline. The track rose over the cliffs then down across the beaches, just like back home, though the sounds and smells quite different.

Cape farewell is the northern most point of the south island, a long drive up a road to nowhere and then a walk further on. It was well worth it, as you can see, so was Wharariki Beach, another 30 minutes along the coastal path, a huge deserted bay of golden sands, the cliffs and rocky islands reflected in the still waters on the sand,miles from civilation at the end of the world.

Back at the farm we get the chance to use the outdoor bath, to lie back and watch the stars at night with a bottle of wine, listening to the fire crackling underneath and occasionally running the cold water to keep the water at a comfortable temperature, the experience is even nicer when shared. I still have my bed and belongings in the tipi, it feels as if i could stay there indefinitely though i am now on the move. I shall miss the family atmosphere and the closeness of the frineds i have made, but the journey continues, back down the coast to Kaikoura and on to Christchurch to see a man about a job and to catch up with some of the other friends i have made.

(the photos wont upload as i've passed my daily limit!! so i'll ad them another time)

the photos

Just a sample of the photos from Autumn Farm naked week.
Serving dinner
the view from the kitchen window
party in the bathhouse