How do we describe our first visit to Chatham Islands? The first word that came to mind for me was 'Wild'. We visited in September and there were big waves, (in fact everything is big over here) and we were glad we packed our thermals. However all of this climatic extreme and ruggedness you would expect on a remote island in the lower Pacific were more than offset by the genuine warmth and generosity of the locals.
And one person who gave us this and more was our newly made friend Helen Bint who is the manager at Stone Cottage past Port Hutt.
Helen lives a life more simple than you or I could ever imagine possible in these days of netflicks, wifi and the pork crackling setting on the wall oven. Lets face it we have all got caught up in it. But not Helen who brings the cosy cottage to life with objects d'art and memorabilia, much of is saved from the local dump.
Helen even has a toy room where visiting children can rummage through the toys which overflow from every direction.
All very neat and tidy and everything has it place, Helen is clearly ahead of the greens on up cycling.
Helen shared with us interesting facts about the cottage and immediate area and as we are rock hounds she shared her basket of fossils and volcanic rocks she has picked up over the years.
If you want to have this extraordinary privilege you will need to ring Helen in advance to organise a time to come. Ask her if she needs anything picked up in Waitangi such as mail or stores. There is a nominal fee of $20 pp for the visit.
I hope we have not spoiled any surprises but there is lots in store for you and if you see Helen please pass on our warm regards.