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Poronui Snowed In!! 5 October 2009
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October has come upon us with a sudden very cold and white start. Warm sunny days at the end of September had lurched us into our spring clothing and dusting-off our summer T-shirts and shorts. We were even looking at the rivers, thinking of them getting warmer and the BIG fish waiting to be caught!

However the sandals and T-shirts were hastily thrown to the back of the wardrobe when the heaviest snowfall in 25 years hit on Sunday evening 4 October, closing the road between Taupo & Napier, stranding 600 motorists and isolating Poronui from the rest of the world.

Trees branches succumbed to the sudden heavy weight of the half a meter of snow and collapsed on our power lines – meaning that now we were hunting out candles, stoking the fires, filling hot water bottles with water heated on the gas range and using emergency generators to supply basic power. As for phone communications, the string and cans were just not going to do the trick. Apologies if you tried to call and couldn’t get through!

Poronui was suddenly a picture for a Christmas Card. The terrain here is so beautiful – continually changing and this was another stunning image of a winter wilderness, albeit in Spring!

Two and a half days passed for Eve and the resident crew until all systems were restored. This included putting out extra food for some very cold horses plus our newest Poronui resident – – Sooty the calf, and watching the deer come out in the open to forage.

Mark, Ben and our Big Red Tractor are now very busy towing out the fallen branches, clearing the roads and walking paths – not exactly our usual way of gathering firewood. In no time at all, Poronui will be restored to its Spring splendour – and all that will be left are the great photos – and stories to tell for years to come.

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