Another coincidence story:
We met a New Zealand family on a beach near Kerikeri, and by the end of the conversation they had invited us to come stay with them in Dargaville. Sure enough, a few weeks later, we were headed down the west coast of New Zealand so I called them and asked if we could come visit.
"Sure, come on down," Bev said in a very motherly, relaxed voice.
A few days later we arrived in Dargaville, a dusty river town which main function is to supply local farmers. I texted Bev that we had arrived and her husband David picked us up a half hour later. Dave has a perpetual smile on his face and laughs at almost everything anyone says; he is a very nice, cheerful man. He took us to his son's cricket game on the way back to the farm (it was kind of interesting in a boring sort of way; the three-legged dog being chased by a toddling girl was more exciting).
As soon as we arrived at their house, two of their grown-up daughters Leoni and Paula invited us to a circus party that night. We picked up some fish-and-chips on the way and drove for a half hour on deserted roads to Baileys Beach, an even smaller town. It was a great party for several reasons:
1. The food and drink. Everyone brought something delicious, like guacamole, homemade bread, delicious quiche, our fish and chips contribution, and a big plate of steak that was passed around, and lots of wine and mixed drinks.
2. The activites. Everyone at the party had some sort of unique circus talent, and we saw them on display: unicycling, juggling, fire-spinning, and fire hula hooping! Which I got to try! I actually got a private lesson with the best hula hooper there, he taught me some new tricks and then let me try the fire hoops. It was amazing!
3. The people were all very interesting, hippies from all over the world - Argentina, New Zealand, America...
And that party was only the first night of our 3 day stay. We also got a tour of the (stinky poopy but interesting) shed where they milk the 500 cows. Bev and their homeschooled 13-year-old daughter Megan took us to ride their horses bareback, which was awesome. And we walked from their house to the longest drivable beach in New Zealand (not the 90-mile-beach!) where they had a dilapidated little batch set up that Dave had build himself.
They were so hospitable and nice, they fed us and we cooked for them a few times and scrubbed their kitchen. I'm really happy we met them.
How they milk 500 cows - they take about 50 at a time into this shed.
Cows being milked by machine
Dave getting fresh milk for the family - so tasty!
Happy grass-fed cows!
Cute and friendly!
How now brown cow?
One of their 4 horses
Path down to the beach by their house
Longest beach in New Zealand!