The view from the farm.
I'm staying on a farm owned by Brian and Marianna Hayworth near a small town called KatiKati. We're about two hours drive south of Auckland, the biggest city in New Zealand. From the farm we look out from the coastline to the east to the mountains to the west. It's a beautiful location.
I kinda figured that Marianna and Brian would be great people to work for. Our emails gave me that impression and I’m totally right. They, and their two sons who are at home are delightful people. They have a “Home Stay” (Hostel) and Marianna runs a horse program that includes lessons and treks. I’ve already been involved with both.
There are seven horses here…all good looking and well behaved. I’ve ridden three. So far and my favorites are Freedom (on the right), a beautiful pinto with gaits similar to a Tennessee Walker and my most favorite, Snoopy, a very well behaved and smooth gaited bay mare. I seem to have great luck with bays.
I live in an old (but clean) caravan right next to one of the paddock, so at times I hear horses from my bed…just like in South Africa last summer/winter. The caravan is right behind their “Home Stay” lodging with includes two bedrooms and a lounge/kitchen which volunteers use as well as guests. Currently there is another volunteer, Marika, a woman from the Netherlands who also has great horse experience. We’re having fun working together.
|Snoopy and I explore the farm country.|
Marianna organizes treks, inviting local horse folks for wonderful rides. She calls it "Horses for Fun."
My first trek was to the beach. For this trek we trucked/trailered our horses to the meeting place on the beach. There were about 25 people on this ride.
|Our group heads out on the Beach|
|The forest come right up to the coast line.|
|We also headed inland. The area has many of these windbreaks. |
I thought they were really old, but in NZ, thing grow very quickly
so these were only maybe 30 years old.
|Lunch Break before swimming|
Marianna swimming on Snoopy!
The second trek was to the south of the “Home Stay” into the farm country. The pictures speak for the beauty that is all around us.
|The farm country around where I live.|
|An old rural "post office"|
The third trek was up into the hills. This was the funnest ride so far. Again, there were about 25 people and the guide for this trek upstaged me by being 79 years old! The vast open spaces are SO beautiful. The pictures say it even better….
|Getting ready for the trek.|
|This beautiful fir tree is only 50 or so years old. |
I found that hard to believe, but that's what the locals told me!
30 years ago, I met a fellow, Paul Gillingwater from New Zealand while I was working for the Krotona Institute in Ojai, California. Paul and I, along with another fellow, Craig Burkus had great fun hanging out together. So when I decided to come to NZ, I was able to track Paul down. He and his wife now live in Vienna and both work for the United Nations there.
View of the Auckland Bridge from the (hopefully) dormant volcano cone.
I’m feeling pretty lucky (again)…I’ve found myself a great place for another adventure.