The last piece of the puzzle fell into place over the NZ summer. We returned from a very enjoyable season on the boat and took up life in small-town Ohakune in the middle of North Island, wondering what on earth we were going to do next. The motor home had several summer bookings on the calendar so we left that with Mighway in Auckland and decided to see what living in the Ruapehu district had to offer. It has been a revelation! Ohakune is no hick country town, even though the off-season population is only 900 or so. Once I started getting involved by joining a walking group and following the local Facebook page, I discovered that most residents have lifestyles far from the run-of-the-mill 9-to-5 norm of the big city. There are Canadians running a bakery after sailing round the world, a guy making spices and operating a co-operative gift store for local artisans, couples who run holiday rentals in several small towns, a nurse who travels to work in Australia’s Outback – a varied and interesting bunch of people! However, local work is in short supply outside the ski season so we needed to maximise our existing assets. Accommodation, in short. Our usual company Bachcare is great for winter, but summer rentals were few and far between. What might fill the gap? Airbnb!
We had guests right up to when we closed off our calendar two days before we left, and I had a hectic time washing bedding and spring-cleaning both house and cottage. Ed meanwhile was busily extending the small workshop to fit our little red sports car into for winter storage, and building an elegant box for the patio furniture cushions. He was still packing his suitcase at 3pm the day we left town.
Our first task, after greeting family and shaking off the jetlag, was to drive three hours up to the boat and take the swim platform off so we could repair it. It had sustained some fairly serious cracks in an altercation with a solid concrete wharf last season, and the quote to get it repaired at the marina was over $3500. While we do have insurance, of course, the excess/deductible is $800 and Ed’s brother Lou reckoned we could fix it in his workshop for a lot less than that. So that’s where this week finds us. Grinding and fibreglassing and polishing to get the cracks filled and the piece back to immaculate condition. Then we’ll drive back, pop it back on (yeah, right!) and we can have the boat put back in the water and move aboard.
Let the next adventure begin!