Packing at the Packhouse

Monday 23 March
Induction at the packhouse started at 9am, so we woke to the alarm and a few nerves – we’ve only worked a week in the last four months. We were not sure what we were getting ourselves in for. There were lots of motorhomers and a few locals, and lots of them were old-timers. That’s oldtimers in terms of being back with lots of previous seasons behind them, and oldtimers in terms of being senior in years. And obviously a happy lot. Morning tea included muffins – they provide baking here … yahoo… We had a rundown on what was required for our cleaning duties, and then that was it for the day. We spent the afternoon cleaning up and sorting out Suzi. Wyn’s grandson and his mother came over for tea from Papamoa.
Tuesday 24 March
I was woken by my cell phone, it was the office wondering if we could work – they were short. Except the line wasn’t working, so maybe they didn’t. In the end it looked like we weren’t needed, so we went for a bike ride up the road back down the main road – Hot Springs Road. The main road was busy but has a wide shoulder, except for a bridge which was very scary with trucks rushing by. Hot Springs Road was a bit of a climb. We had a look at the camping ground up there, and carried on to the end of the road. There are two walking tracks that start from there. Then a good wizz back down to the road, and across the scary bridge, and back home to Suzi. We had a BBQ for lunch, and started work at 3.30pm on the packing line. Packing kiwifruit into trays and boxes, and wrapping the plastic up in the boxes and closing the boxes. All or some of that. There was a break after 2 hours – some more home baking. Then the whole place finished at 7.30pm, many had been working since 7.30am. Then with two others we started on cleaning, as in cleaning the staffroom and the toilets and washroom and the factory. This took over two hours the first night, so we weren’t finished until 10pm. Tea was toast and tea – it took a while to wind down.
Wednesday 25 March
Another sunny day – is it always sunny here? We biked into town, sort of round the back way – did a bit of business, then biked back down the main road. BBQ sausaged for late lunch – we are aiming for a bigger meal in the middle of the day. Then it was over to start work at 3.30pm, packing kiwifruit. Then cleaning at 7.30pm. And again toast and tea for tea.
Thursday 26 March
Another sunny day – some cloud coming over the Kaimais though. We did a few chores, washing and filling with fresh water. Then we drove back to the top of Hot Springs Road and walked to The Big Kauri. This is a 25 minute walk to a big kauri, and it is big. Diameter 2.7m. About 600 years old. Massive. Apparently kauri trees are not the tallest trees, but have the biggest mass of any trees. Then it was into town for a bit more business. On the way back, we stopped off at a nearby vegetable stall/shop and discovered a real gem. Lunch was sandwiches, and then work started 3.30pm. Wyn was on grading for a change, while Ross was still packing. We weren’t on cleaning so it was a change to get back “home” at 7.45pm. Tea involved quite a few vegetables.

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