The trip began with a good bout of POD building, largely thanks to some new minds in the mix. Bronnie was a creative force of the highest level. John milled all of the framing timber and the exterior battens. Martin bought up just about everything else, and then Andy arrived with a bunch of tools and everyone pitched in.
Andy talked (mostly to himself) non stop. Whereas once John was working he hardly said a word, conserving all energy for thinking. Martin and Bronnie tried to keep out of trouble. Jonathan skived off with Matt to formulate a planting plan for August. It was madness until dark. Thank God we don’t have electricity. Everyone just had to settle down around the fire and recap the day’s building.
Then in the weekend we had a seriously big work party, with lots of progress. In fact all of the remaining damage from Cyclone Ita was cleaned up. There must have been around 60 pine trees across the tracks, so this was and incredible feat. The power of volunteers!
The latest we’ve heard is that the ‘good old boys’ up there for a night of pig hunting, caught Mr Piggles on the road, boxed him up and took him to Takaka for a night on the town. They soon discovered that he was owned by part time bouncer ‘Lewy’ and quickly returned him. But he’ll escape again, mark my words. What are we going to do with you Mr Piggles?
Sometimes it’s hard to tell how a thing is going to work out unless you just get on and build it.
In this case, Mark, Murray, Andrew and especially Jonathan were happy to just make it up as they went along. Bloody good fun!
Now at the end of the trip we thought “if just we had one more day…”
We were totally deluded. More on that later.
There are few holidays as satisfying as a ‘conservation vacation’ at Rameka and this time we shared the experience with Kevin – a solid volunteer from USA; Sean – a carrick building musicologist; and Geoff – gainfully employed prof from VUW. It was an unusual trip, with a variety of missions.
We started by building the foundations for a sleeping POD, which is essentially a wooden tent, possibly, maybe, well we will just make it up as we go and find out at the end of the job exactly what it is.
Bronnies main mission, with help from a very nice woman who was dropping her kids off to go mountain biking, was to ‘Release’ the previously planted trees. In other words, stop them from being smothered by weeds. They only have to grow a metre tall and then they can look after themselves.
An on the last day we had a work party with about twenty people and built another chunk of the Odyssey – a track that is living up to it’s name because the terrain down in the side gut is horribly tough.