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Date: 16 May 2014 11:01:42
Title: Kuaotunu

Pos 36:43.78S 175:42.23E



Just typical, it rained most of the night and we didn't have any heater.
I ended up with an extra blanket, furry socks and my shawl wrapped round
me to keep me warm.
Next day and the sun was wonderful over the hills behind us.  Instead of a
dusty, bumpy trip back Lars had a wet, bumpy trip with the drops on his
side.

    
            Fletcher Bay in the morning and the Ranger Station                                                                      A Ford full from the rain.



Several times I made Lars stop so I could look at the old, twisted, snarly trees that
were along the road.  They seemed alive with their branches out stretched asking
for something than just growing there.

     
                                      Totara Trees that seem alive                                                                            This one has re-grown after it fell down




    So huge are these trees that Lars only managed to get this much in.


Most of the parts we've seen so far have had cattle on the pastures and it was a
surprise to see a farmer bringing in his sheep that we just had to take a photo of
him and his dog.  He was amused we took his picture.  The dog stayed alert the
whole time and didn't look at us at all, just the sheep.

    
                       Farmer (Brown) with his herd of sheep                                                                               His sheep dog at work


We were on our way to see the only and largest working Water Wheel in New Zealand.
When we arrived there was only one showing a day and we were just in time.
We were given a tour by our host Isabella.  Her husband nearly always did the tour but
was away at the moment so Isabella showed us how the Coromandel Stamp Battery
was used to crush the rock and how the gold and silver were taken from the ore.

     
                             The Water Wheel that still works                                                                      The water wheel starts the process

    
                              The pistons that crushed the rock                                                             At the end of the pistons were giant 750 kg "bottles".

    
                                  Where the gold and silver ended up                                                                                                 Mercury was used to extract the gold and silver



                                                               Panning for gold the old way

Just as we left the Battery it started to rain so we decided to stop in the town
and have lunch before finding a place for the night.   After lunch I saw some
birds hiding under a bridge and realised that they were Kingfishers.  Wonderful
colours and in the side of the Harbour Key they had built nests and the Fathers
were keeping watch just above their nests.  I took the photo's so they are a
little small.

   
                                             Kingfisher looking for food                                                                                                                  The Fathers keeping watch over their nests.


That's it for the day. Hopefully we'll get better connection before
sending this off.

Love Caroline and Lars x



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