Sunday Summary #4 - October 2018

Sunday Summary Header 3.jpg


The name Mangonui is Maori and means "big shark" (mango = shark; nui = big). The ancestor Moehuri was led by a large shark in his canoe into the safe bay Mangonuis and settled here. Because the shark helped him, Moehuri decided he was under protection. However, the shark was killed a few years later by Moehuri, son of Tukiato and his friends. A a punishment, they were banished from Mangonui and they had to settled a few miles to the west on the grassy hills of Coopers Beach. Exactly where we love to take George for walks.

With the last days of october, our last days of the house sit are approaching in Mangonui. On Thursday, Judy and Kim will be back from their Euro Trip and we have to say goodbye to George and this lovely gem of a home. Once in a while you found these special places where you feel instantly secure, that inspire creativity and are somehow more than just a nice spot on earth. This is such a place.

It's so much fun to be inspired by other places, and life designs to collect ideas and puzzle them slowly together. Still a lot of peaces are missing, but we don’t mind. We love traveling, being on the move, even if „freedom“ a beat-up cliché among backpackers, we crave it. But we also know, we might want to have a base again someday. A place, our place, where we can come back after a journey and where we can live out all our ideas and inspirations we collected on the way. Whether if it’s Van Life which we prepare for now, back to a city apartment like our little gem in Stuttgart, or a Tiny House somewhere in Norway or Sri Lanka? Well, it’ll be one thing or another. What we love about this wooden bungalow on stilts is the open but cozy concept, the house has just one door inside and that’s the bathroom. The huge terrace, the private bush walk and of course the dreamy panorama over the olive groves to the sea are not to shabby as well.

In addition, there is much to discover in the area. New Zealands nature is just incredibly versatile. Yesterday we discovered a new coastal track and we are a bit annoyed that we did not find the hidden branch earlier! First, a small path leads directly from a steep road through a forest overgrown with mighty tree ferns over a small wooden bridge into the woods. Then steadily up the hill through the bushy vegetation consisting of tall, narrow branches and dense vegetation reaching all the way up to the hips and continuing on gravel to the grassy peak of the mountain called Rangikapiti. We are rewarded with an amazing 360 ° panorama overlooking the port of Mangonui, gorgeous Coopers Beach and the vast open sea. As we stand on the windy dome and scour the coast, we notice another track that leads along the bay to the hidden cliff. On ropes we descend deeper and deeper down the steep forest slope, below just some skinny trees, the rocky cliff and the sea. This is def not a way, gramps takes his dogster out for a wee. George skilfully hops from rock to rock like a spring loaded mountain goat while we concentrate on not slipping. As the weather gets grimmer and the trail becomes steeper and steeper, we take the next turn and fight our way through the forest back to the car. We got lucky, we just arrive at home when it started to pour cats and dogs. Maybe next week we'll make it to the bottom, though.

For the first time this week, we checked out Mangonui, the closest settlement to us. Haha, we have been living here for 6 weeks and in the last week we manage to get to the village center. However, that is not because we have not left the house for the last 6 weeks (on the contrary!), But we live so far out that our neighborhood can hardly be included to one of the surrounding villages. And since there is a supermarket, a gas station, a fantastic beach and our favorite spot to walk the dog in Coopers Beach we always skipped Mangonui on the way further west. Since Monday was a public holiday, we finally made a trip to the small weekly market there and granted us a vegan coconut/avocado/peanut butter & chocolate ice cream. With our ice cream in hand and George on the lead, we continued our way along the 3 kilometer heritage trail around the village. Mangonui is known for its charming, 150-year-old wooden buildings, which today contain small cafés, shops & restaurants. And hands down - the former fishing village is cute as a button! We just can’t get over the fact how sheltered this hidden spot of the world is! And we can’t deny, the slowed down tempo is pretty tempting. We know it sounds pretty lame, but it is just unbelievably relaxed in a New England kinda way, but somehow as if the world has stopped turning for these people. Here the big issues of the world do not seem to have any impact, the lawn in front of the houses seems to be mowed every Saturday and at half past four the first gentlemen in the pub meet for the after-work beer. Of course, this is only the relatively superficial view of two Europeans standing on the outside looking in, but let me tell you: everybody who feels like not being able to bear the stress of everyday life much longer, we can confidently recommend a getaway at the summerly coast of Northern New Zealand! ;)


Panorama of the Week:

Downer of the week:

It is spring here in Kiwi Land and we are pretty happy about that;) Unfortunately spring also means allergy time for Anna! And it has not been that bad for a long time. Especially in the afternoon, the pollen induce a terrible hay fever and not just once this week, Anna had to surrender with a cold washcloth on the eyes and a huge pile of tissues in bed next to her. We’ve got an anti histamine now and luckily it shows effect..

While Anna struggles with allergies, Toby has been busy with our privacy policy for days. Since the relaunch of the website, it needs to be updated and since the EU has passed many different privacy laws and obligations, Toby is now trying to make sense out of it. The problem here are the now implemented tracking cookies and the traffic analysis tools by Squarespace. These help us to tell from which countries our users log in, what kind of devices they use and what kind of content is popular. With this kind of anonymized information, we can now much better respond to our visitors and thus optimize the whole page. Of course, everything must be technically correct in terms of data protection, otherwise a greedy internet law firm could rip us apart. And the EU has done a great job, making it as hard as possible to comply the GDPR. It must now be made even clearer as before, which traces a user leaves behind and it must be given the opportunity to contradict and consent the collection of (especially personal) data. The whole thing has to be implemented and coded somehow and Squarespace really does not make it any easier. Forums and websites have been searched, we studied all provisions and tried to find individual solutions for our website. Everything was very annoying, time consuming and unsatisfactory. We had to say goodbye to the idea of implementing Google Analytics altogether and every new subscriber to the newsletter must now prove that he’s not a robot and has not accidentally put his information in the subscription form. Also of our wonderful newsletter insiders who are already registered, will soon get digital mail as well, with the question of whether they still agree to get mail from us - sorry to bother you because of that, but that's the way it is. As privacy advocates, we are more than happy about the new data protection regulation of the EU, as a small non-commercial travel blog it is a bit over the top, imho. Well, we see light at the end of the tunnel. I hope we’ll be done with it in the next few days..


Where we are right now:

Mangonui, Far North District, Northland, New Zealand


Highlight of the week:

Since we haven’t much time left here, we are currently trying to consciously enjoy the amenities of the house, the property and George. Of course, this also includes a fully equipped kitchen with a proper coffee maker! Our coffee consumption has gone through the roof since we landed in NZ and every time the newly bought bag of coffee is empty, we can’t believe it. In addition, we discovered the wonderful world of Nice Cream and since we have to say bye bye to the blender soon, we enjoy the "healthy" treat every other day! Yes, we know, winter is coming (ohhh, haven’t thought about the Starks for a long time!), but we’re sure you’ll love it anyway. ;)



Goodie of the week:

We wish you a great start into the new week! See you next sunday!