Back to winter

Tomorrow I fly home: from the southern hemisphere to the northern hemisphere, from summer to winter.

I am leaving the cousin I love and a country I love.  I‘ll miss the birdsongs, the flowers, the exotic trees and ferns, the sunshine and the long white clouds.  Aoteoroa: the Maori name for their homeland.  Land of the long white cloud.

Jerry and I spent 4 days in Coromandel.  That’s a peninsula on the north east coast of the North Island.  We had a motel that was a bit more than 2 kilometers from town, so we did a lot of walking.  Even though it pelted rain most of the time we were there, we walked to town and back at least once every day.

We visited a gold mine run by a talkative geologist who told us a lot, very fast, about the geology of New Zealand.  He demonstrated his rock crusher for us and for a bus load of tourists (mostly Brits).  The rock crusher didn’t work and he talked a lot more, very fast.  Finally, one of the English gentlemen leaned over and said to me, “I wish he’d shut up and get on with it.”  The “demonstration” cost $10 for each person.

Jerry was interested in the gold mining, since he had mined gold in Alaska.   There was a major gold rush in the Coromandel just as the California gold rush was subsiding.  Jerry asked our talkative geologist where the tailings are, since the mines in this region are all underground.  Talkative geologist said they had all been dumped in the harbor, and he advocates dredging the harbor, since modern chemical methods of mining can extract a lot more gold than the old methods.  He is having a fierce battle with the Greens over this proposal.

When we came back to Jocelyn and Albert’s house in Pukekohe we took them out to dinner, and I finally and unexpectedly got a really good meal in a restaurant in New Zealand.  We went to a Chinese buffet.  There was a wide array of well cooked Chinese dishes and western dishes, including some fresh oysters on the half shell.

Today my last outing will be with Jocelyn to a luncheon with her Mah Jongg group.  Some of these ladies I have met on other visits when I watched them play Mah Jongg.

I am thinking about Christmas and all the rush and activity.  Christmas preparations here in New Zealand are well underway, and seem incongruous in this warm sunny land.  People sing all the carols and songs about winter and cold and snow and never seem to notice that they don’t fit.

I am bracing myself for winter.

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15 Responses to Back to winter

  1. Jan says:

    Have a safe and trouble-free trip home, Anne.

  2. Sophia says:

    I would love to travel to New Zealand someday. Their tourism folks run the best, most aluring adverts on telly over here. It just makes you want to go there. Sorry to hear about the food however.

  3. Mage B says:

    Ah, but it fits them. Here it is grey and cold and in the east very cold and blizardy. You will feel much more like the holidays when you make it home.

  4. Tessa says:

    I’m guessing that, by now, you’re home and wondering which way is up. Looking forward to having you back online soon; I’ve missed you.

  5. Annie says:

    Hope you made it safely home, but you must be terribly jetlagged now! Keep warm! Enjoy winter…

  6. Hattie says:

    Just went to a meeting about community affairs with a New Zealander in attendance who moved here not very long ago. Like all of us, he’s very interested in preserving the area where we live while expanding the economic base through sustainable energy and agriculture. Seemed like a very nice person. Hawaii is the only place in the U.S. that isn’t cold right now, apparently.

  7. dale says:

    Ah, well, you’ll find winter here, all right 🙂

    xoxo lovely to hear from you again!

  8. Mage B says:

    Welcome home, and we will see you when we get home. Hope you had a good trip home.

  9. Mage B says:

    ….and a happy holiday to boot. 🙂

  10. Darlene says:

    I hope I never have to leave a sunny climate for a cold one in winter again. I love the sun and hate cold weather, but sometimes you do what you have to do.

    Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, Anne.

  11. Marcus Coil says:

    I love reading your exciting stories but when it comes to one I was sicked by the lies that where told to you. Good Old Mama Z. Well let me tell you. She is the biggest BSr on the face of the earth. She never arrived here with her sons broke and divorced.She came to Dease Lake by stealing her way and taking her commonlaw husbands money. And when the pot would run dry she would shmoo the next sucker she could. She never fired the people running the restaurant for her. They quit after being owed $5000 wages that she would not pay. By the way in the last 3 yrs she has had 27 claims made agaist her for not paying wages. The locals do not eat there at all. Now with winter here she may have ne customer. But be warned she will con some sucker into investing in her venture so she can keep it open and live the high life. And she is Hungarian. She has been charged with theft. The restaurant has been investigated 3 times this year for serving tainted food. She has been see salvaging food from the dump and taking it back to the restaurant.. Need I tell you more. So please remove that section of your blog so Dease Lake is not embarrased any further.

  12. wisewebwoman says:

    Welcome to upside down, Anne, or is that right side up?
    Poor you, back to winter indeed, though I must say it is very warm out on the edge of Newfoundland at the moment, no snow.

  13. Sally says:

    Welcome Home Anne! Thank you for sharing your New Zealand adventure. Can’t wait for your next post after you catch up with family and friends.

  14. Mage B says:

    It’s now almost new years and I hope you had happy holidays….and more to come. Hope you got home safe and sound too.

  15. Friko says:

    that’s strange, I thought I’d already left a comment on this post. Hm, them gremlins is at work!

    Just to say

    Have a very Happy New Year, 20th c woman.

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