Te Maika – 11 – Visitors and horses

Yesterday as I was looking through photos to upload I was reminded of the many, many visitors we have entertained at Te Maika. As children, we didn’t invite friends probably because we only had a small five-seater car and that was loaded to the gunnels and on the roof as well… remember the days of roof racks?

However, a cousin my age did join us one time. She was staying with us while her parents were overseas so I guess this was the reason.  And did four of us squeeze into the back seat of our car? I don’t know, but it was in the days before compulsory (or even mandatory) seat belts. Rosemary and I are similar ages and have always enjoyed each other’s company. So a holiday at Te Maika was eagerly anticipated.

Now, as is quite common in 12year old-ish girls, we shared a love of horses.  And horses abounded then at Te Maika as they do now. Several of them were tame back then as there was a family (Tom, the boat and store-owner’s family) in residence and their main transport (apart from the boat) was horseback.

Horses enjoying a twilight feed on a hilltop.
My grandchildren try to befriend a foal.

So Rosemary and I decided that we would like to ride a horse.  We did obtain permission from the owners and were even given a rope or two… and maybe a bridle on one occasion. We were able to catch one or two and delighted in climbing on and riding wherever they took us – bareback and, as I said, not usually with a bridle.  I admire my mother for not intervening and putting a stop to our antics.

It wasn’t until I had children of my own that the flow of visitors became quite steady. I was in the habit of taking my children on our annual holiday to stay with my Mum and Dad for a week.  One year some friends and I were discussing Te Maika and, no doubt, looking at photos so I invited them to join me with their children the following year.

Well, things were never the same again!  My parents relinquished the bach into our  hands for a week while they relocated themselves to the comfort of civilisation over the harbour at Kawhia for a week. My father would take us over in JulieAnn, and later, Dolphin, drop children and adults, food and other necessities on the shore, and return a week later.  This was before the days of cell phones so the only communication was via the phone box and a neighbouring relative at Kawhia.

Too bad if the weather was rough on the day of return… my father would be there to pick us up! I remember one such trip when I surely hoped that he wouldn’t come.. but he did and we weren’t at all sure we’d feel dry land under our feet again!