What a night!…Storm over Taranaki!…

The gardens are creatively designed with colorful groupings.

When the heavy glass and metal patio table and chairs had flipped during the night from the high winds and the house was literally shaking, we knew we were in the midst of a huge storm.

Thinking about the alpacas, especially the little crias during the night, I worried if they could blow away. When looking outside this morning as the sky attempts to clear, everyone looks fine.

Its interesting to see the blue flowers.

Soon, I’ll walk down the road for a head count for the herd that is located in a nearby paddock having been moved to “greener pastures” a few days ago. I think it would be hard for me to be the owner of such a herd. I’d always want to put them indoors in storms requiring a huge barn with bales of their favorite hay and water.

Colorful mix of rhododendron.

I guess I’ll never need to be concerned about that. We hardly have a desire to settle down to own a farm or any house for that matter. Often, we’re asked if we’re looking for a place to eventually “settle down.” Who needs to settle down? Not us.

When we first began our travels, we had a romantic notion that somewhere along the way, we find a location that would make us realize we’d want to stop and make a home of our own again. 

Many of the walkways in the Pukeiti Gardens are easy to navigate.

As time marches on, now well into our 40th month since leaving Minnesota, we’ve never felt the urge to contemplate a “permanent” home anywhere.  Sure, I’d like to return to Marloth Park for another 90 day stay at some point which may happen in the distant future on another trip to Africa. 

Bluish purple rhododendron.

For now, we have lots of world to see with absolutely no desire to stay anywhere for longer than 90 days.  Upcoming, we have two 60 day stints in Bali with a 60 day gap in between (due to visa status) more from the excitement we felt for the yet-to-be seen property. 

With a map in hand and clearly marked areas, it was easy to find our way in the gardens.

Looking back at that decision, we ended up choosing the two separate stays based on reasons we may need to rethink in the future, anticipating a property to be so irresistible that we need to stay longer. 

We spotted only a few other tourists.

As much as we loved the four months we spent in Kauai, we’ve decided all bookings beyond our current commitments (we’re currently booked to October 31, 2017, the five year anniversary of our world travels) may not exceed 60 days. Soon, we’ll begin booking beyond that date.

A few paths are grassy.

The exception to this would be when we need time to “recover” from a huge expense, such as the cost of the cruise to Antarctica (which we’ll be booking as soon as new postings are listed) and can find an extremely affordable and appealing location such as this alpaca farm where 90 day stay may make sense. 

Pods on an unusual plant with fern backdrop.

I love it when I’m disappointed to be leaving a property and a country, such as in the case of South Africa and now, here in New Zealand. I’ve avoided figuring out how many days we have left here, when every single day is a gift, not only in our daily lives in general but when we’re living in a place that brings us such simple joys and happiness.

Most likely these are Maori translations on this stone tribute.

Each day we’re entertained by the precious animals and we appreciate the comforts and quality of this house and location making daily life relatively easy, a far cry from the four months we spent in Fiji. 

A pretty orchid.

Overall, we had a good experience in Fiji but there were definitely some challenges that made daily life much harder than it is here. This house, with its comfortable bed, a TV, working WiFi no power outages to date, no ants and mosquitos (only sandflies which repellent keeps away) and many modern conveniences have made living easy. Its usually cool here with low humidity, especially now as the summer begins to wind down.

Many area don’t have blooming flowers although beautiful with the diverse greenery.

Bali will present many challenges of its own, comparable to Fiji such as heat and humidity, mosquitoes and ants. The difference will be onsite daily household help to assist with the ants and air conditioning, TV and tons of room in a huge house with the ocean and a pool a step outside the door. 

Another pretty orchid, we’d posted with a bee in yesterday’s post.

Speaking of TV, we currently have no satellite service as of yesterday afternoon when a SKY TV guy came to change out the “box” being replaced by a more updated version. He couldn’t figure out how to install it and we were left with no TV service until hopefully, someone comes soon to fix it today, as promised.

These tall stalks are eye catching.

I’ll admit…we like having a TV for those days and nights when its rained hard and we’re staying indoors. We’re avid Nat Geo, Discovery, History Channel and news junkies especially now with all this US political news keeping us informed, as best as biased news channels are capable of presenting. (No political opinions discussed here). 

Another simple tall stalk.

Also, we love the local New Zealand news with their playful banter, humorous expressions and not necessarily PC comments. With few dreadful murders and riot stories, the majority of the news in New Zealand is light hearted and refreshing. 

A variety of small orchids?

Of course, there’s always the sad, heart wrenching stories when the newscasters put aside their good humor to become sensitive and emotional when sharing those stories. We’ve found the “kiwis” (which they call themselves) as open and loving people.

We’ve come to the conclusion that having a TV helps keep us informed and entertained at times that has now jumped to our list of criteria in future booking. In additions, its important for us to know what happening in other parts of the world which may impact future decisions on where we’ll travel.

Low lying flower beds.

We certainly can watch news online but with costly metered wifi it doesn’t make a lot of sense to have to “pay” for news when most news stations throughout the world can provide us with what we need to know about world and local affairs. 

That’s it for today, folks. Enjoy the remaining photos from Pukeiti Gardens and Rainforest and have an excellent day!

Photo from one year ago today, February 18, 2015:

The rich colors of the rocky cliffs in Kauai. A year ago, we headed out on a mini vacation/holiday to another part of the island of Kauai to spend a night at a hotel for my upcoming birthday on the 20th.  For more details, please click here.

Comments and responses What a night!…Storm over Taranaki!…

  1. Staci Finch Thompson Reply

    Glad you made it through the storm ok! The pictures are wonderful – what fabulous flowers! I'm so enjoying your stay in New Zealand, thank you again for always sharing your days!

  2. Jessica Reply

    Staci, looks like we're in the midst of another storm now as I write back to you this morning. The alpacas are all huddled together near the trees at the edge of the paddock. So happy you're enjoying the photos, the flowers and our time here in the land of the kiwis and the Hobbits.

    Much love,
    Jess & Tom

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