July 11, 2006

Mostly this is about roads.

I drove to Wanganui last Thursday night. In typical ostrich style, I was oblivious to weather issues down the line. All I knew was that SH4 between Raetihi and Wanganui was closed, thanks to an early morning heads up from my aunt. After a very busy day at work, I hit the north western heading east by 4:15pm. (Still not early enough to beat the rush though.) The slow ride out of Auckland gave me time to inspect my map book, and I plotted my route down SH1, 2, 27, and back onto SH1 right through until south of Hunterville, where I would hop over to SH3 and cruise into Wanganui, a projected six and a half hour trip.

I was close to SH27 when Ange called to tell me that the Desert Road was closed, so I needed to be on the other side of the island to get around the Central Plateau via SH4. As it happened, I got as far as Turangi on SH1, charged to National Park on 47 and 48, dropped down to Ohakune on 4 and 49 then rejoined SH1 at Waiouru. By the time I got through to Turakina on SH3 I figured I was home and hosed, so it was with some surprise that I almost ploughed into a large pile of mud that had slid right across the road. Having survived several scrapes with black ice, I could barely believe it when I encountered a virtual river flowing over the road just south of Wanganui. And all in all (breaks included) it took me eight and a half hours!

Enough about roads and driving conditions. I had a great weekend in Wanganui, Maxwell and Hunterville. During some downtime I bought a book which makes me Very Happy - 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die. I have got a head start and have only 944 left to get through.
On the drive over to H-ville we passed the aftermath of high waters at Whangaehu (just the one more road mention, that's it now promise). And I watched the rugby! Sort of. Sweet weekend, great to catch up with friends. And in the aftermath, I felt a bit like I'd wandered into the plot of a Jane Austen novel. What a contrast.


Blogger Paul Capewell said...

NZ's weather in winter is always fascinating for me.. That bridge collapse at Maungamahu was pretty amazing. I think next time I come to NZ I want to be able to drive.

Nice update :)


1:44 PM  
Blogger Martha said...

Oooh, I'm dying to get my hands on the 1001 books. Are there many you think you'll not read?

8:52 PM  
Blogger Meg said...

I had no idea there were all those different numbers for the State Highways. I'm gonna check out those 1001 books, am always wondering what to read next...

11:57 PM  
Blogger Jessie said...

Martha - I don't intend to read the many Salman Rushdie titles. I've attempted a few in the past (Midnight's Children, the Moor's Last Sigh) but not made much sense of them. Also I'm not sure about reading American Psycho, I'm quite squeamish and I think it would be too much for me! I did quite like Rules of Attraction by Bret Easton Ellis though. Take a look here for the list.

There's a fairly unimpressed review of '1001..' in the NZ Herald mag (08/07/06) that my Dad sent me, stating the list is boring and predictable. I think this misses the point - as a collection, a reference and a reading list, it's at least a very good starting point.

10:54 PM  
Blogger Meg said...

I've just bought that book for a friend's birthday gift - but now I want to keep it!

2:11 AM  
Anonymous taryn said...

what were you doing up in maxwell?

11:27 PM  
Blogger Jessie said...

My best friend lives there :)

11:51 PM  

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