|Farmland in central Hawke's Bay ignored by the kids in favor of the latest episode of Glee|
Given that a field with a sheep or cow in it is never more than 20 minutes drive away from anywhere in New Zealand (even downtown Auckland or Wellington), equating rural with remote would be a big mistake. To get to Porangahau, the nearest town to Sharika Farm, we drove 2 hours from anything that resembled civilization. To Trish's delight, we swerved along more serpentine roads in the failing light. Three of the 5 occupants in the vehicle felt carsick. For over an hour, we didn't see another car traveling in either direction.
To our delight, a rooster started to crow at 5:10 and every 20 minutes after that. By the third time, we were all lying in our beds wide awake and giggling at this rooster that seemed to have it's own built in snooze button. Or maybe it had to pee.
Sheryl & Andrew pride themselves on living off their farm. They grow all their own fruits & vegetables and all their meat comes from animals from their farm. They barter for other goods with other farmers in the area. The grocery store supplies only the bare minimum. We were treated to a country breakfast and then it was off to feed the chickens and the infernal rooster.
Andrew took us on a tour of his property and let us in on the day-to-day workings of a cattle and sheep farm. The children were infatuated with how much poo littered the fields. Like Easter eggs, they ran from mound to mound yelling "Cassandra, look at this! It's another huge poo!" Apart from keeping an eye on where I was stepping, the landscape was a portrait of green. So lush! And with the Pacific Ocean less than a mile away, the view was awesome!
|Harrison with Mace and Tasha|
|The kid's new best friend Nat Nat, the pet goat|
|Harrison riding the grumpy horse.|
|Mackenzie & Cassandra having their turns.|
|Watching Romney's about to get a haircut|
|Andrew hard at work|
After lunch, we walked out to the field where the calves were grazing. They are separated from the adults (especially those trouble-making bulls) to limit the teen pregnancy rate among cows. Sheryl & Andrew seemed to have some preparations to make for his upcoming trip so we were on our own for the afternoon.
|Longest place name in the world|
Next, we spent two hours walking along the deserted Porangahau beach which was spectacular. Then back to the farm for a nap and some downtime before Sheryl served us a delicious roast lamb dinner.
|Our morning hike|
With the reproductive practices of the flock once again under control, we returned to Sharika Farm to gather our things and say goodbye to Andrew & Sheryl. The kids, especially Mackenzie, spent some quality time with Nat Nat.
|Mackenzie with Nat Nat|
As a footnote, were any of you wondering what Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu means?