Life on magic mountain

Trip Start May 18, 2003
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of New Zealand  ,
Monday, November 7, 2005

Last night I spent my first night sleeping in TROGDOR. I was surprised how comfortable it was; with the back seats down and the front seats forward I had an area equivalent to a good sized double bed all to myself. With a sleeping bag, couple of blankets and a thick coat to cover my feet I was not at all cold.

I slept pretty well, and woke to the sound of the neighbouring farmer swearing at his cows. Then the cows retaliated and the peaceful morning silence had broken.

In contrast to yesterday, the weather was not at all sunny today, and by 9am it had started to spit. The views of Golden Bay were engulfed in mist and I was starting to think today would be mainly spent indoors.

I got to know the guys a little better who were establishing this retreat, and find out a little more about sustainable living in action. They use photovoltaic solar panels to power everything here, and grow (or in the process of growing) food stuffs so they don't have to rely on the town as much. A voucher system is in operation here called "HANDS" that works like money but encourages local people to buy, sell and trade services from each other to promote the local economy. Now I know what you are thinking, but this is far from Royston Vesey.

As the day progressed I discovered that all the hot water used is heated from the wood fired cast iron stove, which is quite ingenious in design. I was getting more and more interested in Savitri's implementation of this self sustainable environment. From work I had done on BASIX with the New South Wales state government I was able to suggest a couple of things that might improve his electricity consumption.

After a good lunch, helping out with some electric fencing for the vegetable garden it was high time for a game of Settlers. Savitri had never heard of the game but I had a feeling he was going to like it.

By the end of the evening I was pretty stuck on the idea of hanging around for a little bit longer and seeing what else I could learn about sustainability in action, while helping out here and there. Having worked on the theories it is fascinating for me to see how these ideas work out in reality.

So another night sleeping in TROGDOR for me, but tomorrow I'll probably get around to pitching up my tent.
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