Sunday, June 9, 2019

Rain, More Rain, and Raglan

Kia ora, campers! It's been a wet and wild few days since we left the Auckland campground, had the caravan looked at, headed south on the Southern Motorway, and set up in a campground an hour south of Auckland.

Yet another day of rain kept us there.

Yesterday, despite still more rain, we pulled up stakes and drove to Raglan, a favorite town off the beaten track in this Waikato region of the North Island, some of the most beautiful farmscapes I've seen here. 

Prettier than this dreary windshield shot.

As we arrived yesterday afternoon, 40 mph wind gusts and lashing rains shook the caravan. This morning we awoke to its antithesis: bright sun, crisp air, and our beautifully sited holiday park just a few steps from the beach.

We can hear the tide roaring back in, but for now there's a wide swath of beach to be walked and the sun to soak up.

About halfway to wherever, I realize that Art's going to grill and I'm stir frying cabbage and I'm suddenly ravenous. We hustle back.

Recent arrivals have the sweetest little Burmese kitten on a leash...and now it's up a tree, looking a bit panicky.

This afternoon, clear sweet air, 70 in the sun. Raglan's the kind of place that urges you to stay a while and, happily, it has an organic produce shop. Our campground is situated just a footbridge walk from town. It's Sunday here and kids are biking, playing soccer, and skateboarding in this park.

We walk to the shop and load up with as much as we can carry. Tomorrow's another day.

It takes a concerted effort not to eat pesticides, here and virtually everywhere. In Northland, we found a spray-free farmer market and an organic farm shop, but otherwise? Vegetables here are grown with glyphosate (linked to non-Hodgkins lymphoma and other assaults on the human body) just like they are in the US. Since we eat mostly vegetables, for the last couple of months I've tried not to think about my ever-increasing toxic load.

We'll stock up on everything here before leaving. I was just reading about Volare, whose bread the shop carries. Looks like they make real sourdough. Maybe that's tomorrow's carry.

Second meal is spray-free spinach, mushroom, and red pepper, herbs from our campground, and bleu cheese from Tutukaka. Did you know the US lags well behind other countries in banning harmful pesticides? Read more here.

Farmers in the United States use 72 pesticides banned in the European Union, 17 agricultural substances outlawed in China and 11 pesticides no longer allowed in Brazil, the Center for Biological Diversity revealed in research published Thursday...The study concludes total bans are the “most effective way to prevent intentional or accidental exposure.”

Raglan main drag on a busy Sunday

A quick stop at the op shop yielded more for the library. Read this one, Carolina?

Back at the campground, I discover the herb garden and a giant chess set behind the kitchen building. 
The parsley, basil, and rosemary make our salads sparkle like summer.

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