So we picked a sewing theme, and booked the adorable cottage we had last year, and spent our year sewing and planning and dreaming.
And, once again, disaster struck – although this time the disaster was limited to us, and didn’t shut down the whole city!
Instead of an overturned truck closing down the main road, the cottage had to cancel our booking, leaving us scrambling to find a suitable place at short notice, on one of the busiest weekends of the year.
Happily, we found another cute cottage to rent. This time instead of heading up highway 1, along the Kapiti Coast, we headed out to the Wairarapa on highway 2, crossing the Rimutaka Hills, hitting Featherston (where the Time Travellers Ball was held) and turning towards the sea and driving down along between the hills and Lake Wairarapa.
We were sad to loose the place we stayed last year, because it was so lovely, but our new cottage, and the locale, turned out to be fabulous in their own right.
I’ve never seen Lake Wairarapa, or spent any time in that area of the Wairarapa. The lake wasn’t much to see: it’s shallow, muddy, and, unfortunately, heavily polluted; but the landscape was gorgeous. Marshes and swamps along the lake, with black swans by the dozens. And old growth forests, with ancient kowhai trees just at the end of their springtime blooms, dripping in a glory of yellow blossoms.
Nina and I drove along in a chorus of “ooooh, look!” sticking to a tranquil country pace and being altogether much more relaxing than last years white knuckle mountain traverse!
Plus being on a farm was fun: sheep and cows to watch, and pet piggies to feed, and so many birds. We saw more native kererū (NZ Bird of the Year 2018) than I see in a year in Wellington, and fantails, and eastern rosella, quails and pukeko, and even a rūrū (Morepork – the tiny native owl), which I have never seen in the wild.
There were walks to go on, a river to hang out by, a reserve of old trees, and history to explore. The family that owned the farm had been there since the 1840s, and it was wonderful to feel a part of their history for the weekend. The cottage we stayed in was an old farmworkers cottage, probably built in the 30s or 40s, and expanded and renovated.
It was all so gorgeous, and I took SO many photos. Here’s some highlights, featuring Nina of Smash the Stash, Eloise of Linen and Lining, Hvitr of Historical Living and Priscilla-who-doesn’t-have-a-blog. Sadly Zara wasn’t able to make it.