Forest Frollicks

Trip Start Mar 11, 2011
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
D.O.C. Site # 7 - Forest Pools, Puketi Forest
D.O.C. Site # 6, Puketi Forest, Puketi Forest

Flag of New Zealand  , North Island,
Tuesday, March 29, 2011

We enjoyed another spot of free camping but this time at an official spot with nothing but a long-drop loo AND we had this luxury all to ourselves. Nearby stagnant pools justifiably put the fear of Mozzie into us so we dutifully applied the lessons previously learnt. But this is where they came rocketing out of the toilet bowl... en masse! 
It seems we weren't really alone. We were awoken during the night by a grunting animal sniffing around the van, perhaps a bloody-thirsty kiwi bird? More likely a boar. We knew it couldn't be anything too scary. So we both pretended that it didn't happen and dozed off again. But yet again we awoken that morning, this time by a pack of dogs and hunters on horseback.
Ah, the wildlife of NZ... I guess we ARE on their turf!
It's great to know that large predators like bears and wild felines, snakes and poisonous spiders (except one) don't naturally exist here. Mozzies and sandflies may be annoying and inconvenient but at least these ones don't carry disease. We've seen the occasional goat, porcupine, horse but sheep and cows are plentiful, especially the suicidal variety that live life on the edge... of cliffs. Perhaps they're into extreme grazing or maybe they're just trying to fit the Kiwi stereotype? 
NZ apparently produces a third of the world's dairy supplies, that explains why we see them everywhere - cows and dairies. Dairies are to NZ what Food&Wines are to London. 
But even though we haven't seen that many, there are apparently 4 times more possums than cows! We've decided that "possum" is the Maori word for road-kill as that's the only time we ever see them. Why DID the possum cross the road, I wonder? 
On day 2 in the forest we trekked over to the other side. There we found a more flash campsite where fires are allowed. It was perfect weather for a spot of braaing, and you know how much we love to braai! And there's something extra special about a braai in the forest. A very chilled and enjoyable day indeed :-D
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Shauneeeee on

Did you ever wonder if those possums were just PLAYING dead? They are world famous dead players you know ;-)

thelees on

We could reverse next time to double-check but that would just be cruel! ;-p

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