We went to bed really late last night as after getting off the water I had to help with the feeding and watering of all of Vanessa's animals; goats, chickens, donkeys, her pony, cats, dogs and the magpie, Mangus (aka Bird). I love this and it always makes me smile.
Bird has a great story behind how he came to be a part of Vanessa's life, let me share it with you...
"Bird fell out of his tree in mid October 2009. He had no proper feathers just fluff. We fed him a mash made of chicken crumbles off a teaspoon and soon he could eat meat and veges too. His favourite is chicken, he has never eaten a worm in his life, he also loves beans and god help anyone who tries to take food off him! He took a while to learn to fly, after one crash he wouldn't try for about two weeks. But he is very good at it now. He once thought he might like to live at the golf course and flew over there. He was back in three days starving and thirsty, exhausted. After having a huge feed and drink he slept for the rest of the day. He mainly communicates by wolf whistling but has a lot of other tunes he has made up himself, including some magpie noises. There is a special one he uses for anything he considers dangerous, like the cat, hawks and hot air balloons! He has also learnt to say F*** Off."
We raced to the supermarket to grab some food for diner and then straight home to eat, both of us were starving, me also a little Hangry. We followed dinner up with a bowl of coconut cream at midnight to satisfy my late night cravings.
Today was an early start for us, off to Waipukarau for the Waipawa Sports (Horse) Show. Vanessa (Mavis as she is known) had teamed up with a young man Jesse Linton who was riding a number of horses today. It was very cool to be in this environment as when I was very young and still on the family farm in Waikato, I had a horse which I rode. Nothing as fancy as what I was seeing today, but I could still ride. My horse was never as well groomed or as skilled as what I saw, but he was still fun. The day was very warm and sunny, but the wind was extremely strong, so I was pleased I had knocked over the big paddle yesterday, as it would not have happened today.
My gear is clean and dry, the Hawkes Bay is always great to visit, and has alway been a place I have enjoyed. Tomorrow is another day and it gives me time to get the support team back on board and sort out a new tyre for Cussie. I will also give her a wash and do a bit of pre planning for the next few days. Then to the supermarket to buy some food and fresh produce.
Today I stopped for a moment and actually forgot about paddling. I immersed myself in another persons world and enjoyed the horses; their smell, cool attitudes and personalities. I watched some very talented riders and was fortunate to watch from other peoples eyes. Cool stuff.
My laugh for the day, Mavis declared that she hates and is scared of Fish! She was totally freaked out by the fish jumping in the marina last night, but thinks nothing of jumping on a horse that is way bigger than her. We all have our little quirks.
Hawkes Bay I am coming back, to ride the many bike trails you have, to take more time to visit places and rest for a while, to go for a swim or two in the many rivers that flow through this beautiful countryside, to buy amazing fresh produce from the many orchards, to visit the farm that supplies raw milk (that is truly cool), maybe convince Mavis and Jesse to give me a couple of refresher riding lessons, and of course to taste some wine! This place is stunning.