DAY 6 22 July 2017 To the bamboo grove

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To collect the bamboo water spout

Up early and off to the hardware store to buy plumbing fittings to feed the stone basins and suikinkitsu, via a visit to the beach at Cintsa to look at the ocean. There is some remarkable geology here with what looks like fossilised bubbles of mud. It's the first time I've seen a bumpy horizon due to the huge swell out at sea. Then onto a coffee shop at a garden centre overlooking a pond that serves excellent Americanos. 

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Cintsa Beach with its amazing geology

Then back home to harvest bamboo for the Suikinkitsu pipework. There is a stand of bamboo that grows in a nearby river-valley and George tells me that the Japanese harvest bamboo at the New Moon; which just happens to be now! In the East they 'leach' the sugars from green bamboo by floating it in the sea for several weeks, which preserves it. Sadly we are going to miss out this process so we have cut two poles to allow for a shorter life span. 

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The bamboo grove is an eerie place; the canes knock together in the wind.

It's an amazing walk back to the studio following the river upstream along a low cliff of square blocks of sandstone full of Maidenhair ferns, indigenous agapanthus and Vlei Lilies. 

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The river valley follows a low cliff

We come across an abandoned orchard of mangos and papayas and a well full of water and then we have to scramble up an old dam. Why anyone would plant a garden in such a remote spot in the forest is intriguing; perhaps they divined fresh water here? 

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Ferns,agapanthus and Vlei Lilies

On our return I'm down the hole for more excavations and George plumbs in the feed to the Suikinkitsu; we're making progress. We are going to line the pit with a cut-down oil drum to prevent soil creeping in and hopefully improve the acoustics. 

 Hard at work

Hard at work

Claire makes a hearty butternut broth for supper, but it's followed by a long power cut, so it's out with the solar lamp and phone torches and off early to bed, clutching our hot water bottles.