Woke up to another beautiful day with bacon and eggs and walked up hill to sound of Tui and Bellbird and the odd Grey Warbler. As I broke the bush line all was quiet so made a phone call and watched the sun arise out of it’s slumber, such a beautiful sight.
Once at top of hill rode to Community hall which is built out of old power poles and met one of the very friendly locals who unlocked hall etc. Soon after was back on my bike and riding northwards to Patuki the most northern farm. The views were exhilarating every corner offering a new headland, beaches, rocky bluffs, islands, ewes and young lambs and cows and calves. These animals were something one had to be very aware of when rounding corners as the road is one warm, flat platform that sheep particularly like to sleep on. I must compliment the road builders on this island as the grades are surprisingly good and surface so smooth.
On arriving at Patuki, shearing of hoggets ( young sheep) was in full swing and I was welcomed by Gus Forgan the farm manager for The Lone star farms who I last saw about 30 years ago when we were once near neighbors! This farm is nestled in a steep gully lying due north and looks out over The Abel Tasman Roadstead just south of Stephens Island home of the Tuatara’s. I soon met Gus’s wife Becks and their 3 lovely girls and spent time talking much about nature and technology. This property was also home to my wife’s family the Leov’s for many years so a fascinating history; had my lunch on the veranda of the original cottage looking out over the sea.
Left the farm mid afternoon with a gift of 10 eggs and freshly shucked paua which I had for dinner with my Tui beer!!
On my return spent much time looking at rocks and plants in the and around the mineral belt. This area is unique for unusual plants and argillite outcrops which Maori used extensively for tools.
Arrived at Community hall tired but full of inspiration for the people who have made this place their home.