“no place to lay his head…”

So it’s been brought to my attention that I need to give more frequent “updates”—as if this were a travelogue.

But I’ve always refused to admit that what I’m doing is “traveling.” I’ve met a ton of folks so far (Americans, Europeans, Germans) who are in this mode, and I must say that I’m in a totally separate frame of mind. That’s why the past few weeks have been difficult for me.

(OK, here’s the update…)

I got into Auckland on August 28th. That’s one month ago. I spent about two weeks there, figuring out essentials—cell phone, car, etc.—then took off to Taupo for a friend’s 30th birthday party. That weekend was great fun, but immediately afterwards I was one my own.

Entirely.

I didn’t know where I was sleeping that night. My car had been fuming smoke and smelling a bit like burnt oil for a few days. I had no food and even less a way to prepare it.

So I did the only sensible thing: I went hiking.

That’s where these incredible photos come from.

From then until last Wednesday I was driving around to various destinations throughout NZ, sleeping in my car and doing as many free touristy things as I could locate. (There aren’t that many.)

Which brings me back to not being in “traveling mode.”

It’s weird to say, but I wasn’t the least excited to be doing this. Those of you who spoke to me on Gchat experienced how miserable I was. I guess I haven’t thought of this time as “traveling” or “time off” because that seems irresponsible or adolescent. I’ve wanted to conceive of my “great NZ adventure” as a practical and purposeful apprenticeship period.

A period of learning.

I had completed my theoretical education, wherein I learned the importance of agriculture; now I wanted a practical education, where I could live out that importance.

(Is it obvious by now that I’m invariably self-righteous?)

So here I was, moaning over being totally unencumbered in one of the most scenic countries in the world. I don’t know if it was justified or not. But anyway, I eventually got a hold of a WWOOF host who would let me come stay with her for a week or longer. She lived on a ranch on the Coromandel Peninsula. (“Bees. Alternative energy. Spinning wool from a variety of colored sheep.”)

It’s been rather adventurous. I’ve weeded, pruned, shifted cattle, fed pigs, chooks (NZ for “chickens”), pheasants, deer, and alpacas, built a raised garden, transported tons of horse manure (all by myself!), and cut open a dead cow.

More on that last one soon.

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3 responses to ““no place to lay his head…”

  1. oh boy, dead cows. my favorite.

  2. “I have to remind myself that some birds aren’t meant to be caged. Their feathers are just too bright. And when they fly away, the part of you that knows it was a sin to lock them up does rejoice. Still, the place you live in is that much more drab and empty that they’re gone. I guess I just miss my friend.”
    -shawshank redemption

  3. Hey, Scott, I am enjoying your blog. Call soon. We Love YOU! Mom and Dad

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