Friday, September 22, 2017

The Grandfather's Place in Kuaotunu

Kia ora and happy election day from NZ. We've had a couple of rainy days here, moving into the old family home across the street from Ben's cool airbnb before the skies let loose yesterday.

This one is a comfortable, rambling homestead, mature gardens all around and planted nooks and crannies everywhere. There is birdsong from dawn through dusk.

Art built a roaring fire last night to take the chill off. And we ate duck confit in front of it.

Today was a freshly washed wonder, a blue-sky Saturday, election day. How much sense voting on a Saturday makes. New Zealanders can even vote in some grocery stores.

It takes two minutes to walk to town.

Remember the beach book exchange "under the big trees near the large house that's being built"? Well, we found it, handsomely made from what Art thinks is a dock bumper.

We had a big beach walk and decided to try Luke's Kitchen for its (internationally famous) wood-fired pizza.

It's a chill spot right next to the cafe, and relatively busy this Saturday, when voters are out and weekenders too. Nothing compared to summer months, though. Our host told us the town of Kuaotunu goes from 3000 souls in winter to 30,000 in high season (though surely they don't all come one a single day).

Luke's is just across the street from the beach.

The Moroccan lamb pizza was a treat, its tzatisiki drizzle a nice touch.

The late Clifford Brian Heraud is the man who bought the house and planted the grounds here where we're staying. He started Kauri 2000 to replant the magnificent kauri trees (in almost impossible numbers) on the Coromandel Peninsula.

Here's a video on this visionary man (if reading in email click here to view vid).

While a school group plants seedlings, the founder of the Kauri 2000 Trust talks about how it all started. The Trust operates on the Coromandel Peninsular in New Zealand's North Island. It organises volunteers to plant seedlings of the magnificent kauri tree, the second largest tree in the world. Over 12 years or so, the trust has planted over 30,000 seedlings on protected public land. The objective is to replace something of the kauri forests decimated by logging over two centuries.

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