As of December 12, a small piece of Tolaga Bay is ours and with the summer ahead we need to make plans so we hit the road again for the drive to the East Cape and a weekend to get to know our new neck of the woods.
To establish our home away from home we first needed to select a site so after much wandering and looking and comparing we settled on a raised area that looks south across the cultivated Uawa River flats to the dry hills near the coast. This is close to the stream channel but showed no sign of being flooded, it keeps the sun until late in the afternoon and is close to the last remaining stand of Pukatea and Kahikatea trees that once would have densely forested the moist river flats.
We need to build a roof to provide shelter for our caravan and to collect our water so obviously our tanks also need to be here but with no electricity our water system needs to be powered by gravity alone. We will add solar power and solar water heating at a later date. However, along with shelter and water the other pressing necessity is a suitable facility for the inevitable daily ablutions so we need to research and build a working composting toilet, a task for which failure is not an option.
Our overpowering sense is that we now own a piece of land that is distressed. With piles of logging debris, a choked stream channel, slumping logging tracks and the native forest fighting against wilding pines we have decided to name our new property Tane's Rest to signal a change of direction, a new dawn and the beginning of a journey away from exploitation towards sustainability.
With the ink dry on our agreement to purchase the property, the fastest way we can establish a permanent base at our city escape is to move a caravan on site and once again Trade Me has answered our call.
We have found a 15 foot Sprite Major caravan that is in need of some repair and renovation and sleeps four people. Sited at Goat Island, it used to live at a campsite somewhere on the Coromandel Peninsula. We have now relocated it back to Auckland using a massive flatdeck trailer in the hope of avoiding any chance of a mechanical failure stranding us on the road home.
We could not predict that the caravan would be fine, the hire trailer would be fine but that our trusty ute would breakdown after the radiator was struck by a rock from a passing vehicle and overheated when it lost the cooling water. Nevertheless, with perseverance we got Major Sprite home after organising an alternate tow vehicle then repeating the trip to recover the ute on the flatdeck trailer before our hire period expired.
It is truly amazing what can be accomplished in 24 hours when you commit all of it to the task at hand, complete with twists and turns that you did not expect.
This blog is the ongoing story of our piece of paradise on the East Cape we have named Tāne's Rest. Visit our About pages to read more about our project, and feel free to leave a comment on any of our posts.
Uawa County existed for 45 years from 1 December 1918 to 1 April 1964 before merging with Cook County. Click on the map to download a copy.