Rosemarie & David
Recently David and Rosemarie took a campervan road trip around the East Cape. We were in a green Jucy van that was fully self-contained, the sort that is normally seen being driven by the younger age group!
We travelled up the Te Kaha coast, around the top, down to Gisborne and back through the Waioeka gorge. Most of the time we were freedom camping, arriving around dusk and making a leisurely departure the next morning.
The East Cape contains some of the most isolated country in NZ and it is a great reminder as to how many people live – much less sophisticated lives than in the ‘big smoke’.
Some are totally off grid, power from a generator and no road access during winter. This is not a place for retail therapy!
Most towns listed on the map sell fuel, groceries and have a cafe/takeaway.
Some have a pub.
But the scenery is great and on the Gisborne side there are a lot of remnants from early history. We drove out to Lottin Point at the top of the Cape – very narrow and at times steep road – to a stunning location. No beach here but the rock fishing is legendary, the best in NZ they say. We enjoyed a coffee [delivered in a 6 cup plunger!] at the 1960s style motel. Hicks Bay, Tokomaru Bay and Tolaga Bay all have very long wharves from which mainly wool and meat was loaded onto coastal steamers. Hicks Bay once had a freezing works. So this side of the coast is much more developed and populated because there is much more flat and undulating land suited to farming. The week before our trip the Cape reportedly had 1,500mm of rain in 5 days – the consequence was road washouts/slips, a vast amount of logging rubbish washed onto Tolaga Bay beach and significant river erosion. Logging is also big business with trucks arriving at the Gisborne port every few minutes. We enjoyed Gisborne, dined out, cycled around and took in the sights. Gisborne is second to Tauranga in volume of logs exported.
While down that way we visited a Presbyterian Support Northern project in Taneatua and met a wonderful couple who have lead this project. We write about this community regeneration later in this newsletter.
We came back through Rotorua and enjoyed a soak in the Polynesian Pools.
Thoughts from a parishioner on the merger venture.
>A Leap of Faith – Sharing the workload is a joy.
>The uncomfortable pews and getting oneself upright from seated is a challenge.
>My hope and dream is that energy is generated to renew the congregations and
‘New Blood’ inspired to join the Saints A. & A. Family
>Resistance to change is the biggest challenge.
>Unwillingness to dispense with place or practice that has been familiar for so long
is a big hurdle.
>We require honesty to oneself and others to journey forward and embrace change
and new friends.”