We have been on the east coast of the North Island in Hastings, Hawke’s Bay for the last 5 weeks and a lot has happened. We have found work (primary objective), bought a bike and done lots of planning for what will come next for us in NZ.
First off, Hastings! Its not New Zealand’s nicest town. It is nice and clean but it lacks atmosphere. After 2.30pm cafés stop serving food and at 4pm everything is closed and the place becomes a ghost town. We are staying in the very centre of town in a shared flat (disguised as a hostel) with 20 other people and we have a perfect view of the rail way that runs right through the town square fountain. We also have great views of drunk people fighting during the night, this can be quite entertaining.
The crime rate in Hastings is quite high and there is some of gang activity. Some of the guys we are staying with had their car stolen. After reporting it to the police, the car was found a few hours later. The thieves had taken it for a joy ride but didn’t steal anything, they actually left a bong in the car and filled up the tank. Around the same time some other guys had their car broken into. The window was smashed and the stereo was stolen.
In general though we find Hastings fairly safe and a good place to do some work. At the moment its apple thinning season and we found work on an orchard doing so. Apple thinning is the process of pulling some of the apples off the trees to allow the remaining apples to grow to a large size. The concept of it is simple but the job is actually very labour intensive. Some large trees can hold over 1500 fruit and we need to reduce that to approximately 450 fruit and some days we thin up to 150 trees. Without going into too much detail (I will do that in a later post) I just want to say that despite the hard ship I actually really like this job and I am very grateful to have it.