May 31, 2007

Lots to say

I haven't done too well at writing here lately. I really wanted to express my fantastic weekend in Wellington, but it already seems an age ago, and there's too much of now to be looking backwards.

In order to avoid the passing from the collective memory of my most recent weekend away, here goes. On Friday night I went to a party at Roundhead Studios,where there were more bands than I could make my way between studios to see. Awesome to see Neil perform. Next I trundled down to the Dogs Bollix and caught the last of the Tuesdays' last ever gig. Rocking!

That was scene-setting: I was a little rough on Saturday morning. I had two tasks before hitting SH1: packing my car and doing the dishes. My turn, according to the wheel. With the help of some delicious coffee from Hayden, I forged ahead and with head down and teeth gritted, picked up my brother and got on the road only one hour behind schedule. I was a little fragile to begin with, but shook it off and by the time we stopped for a break in the sun on the hill overlooking Te Kuiti, I felt fine.

We had another stop at Taumaranui. I searched for something to eat. Then we dove down the Paraparas and emerged in Wanganui right on dinner time. Later I caught up with Ange, and we examined some fresh guide books and discussed our apprehension and excitement (11 sleeps!).

I met 9-day old Jake next day. I had a great few days in Wanganui, staying at Maxwell with friends and enjoying the wonderfully temperate weather. I have masses of photos - 'shopping takes an age, but they'll be on flickr eventually. After setting off from my father's around 1pm on Monday, I finally wrenched free of the city at half four, having watched the afternoon dwindle from Emma and Matt's backyard.

Leaving took me to Hunterville. The sunset was quite beautiful, and it was all I could do not to stop constantly to take photos. Really something, it was. I stopped by to visit Libby's dad in Hunterville, then to see Mark a few kilometres north. I had the good fortune to arrive at the end of a day's pheasant shooting! I was quite diverted by the sudden influx of tweed and guns. And then on to Mangaweka, where I passed a very pleasant evening with friends.

Tuesday brought a frost, and another perfect clear day. We had a leisurely start, including a couple of rounds of Candyland with Freddy who was home from school sick. I set off up SH1 before noon and enjoyed a great run up the Desert Road. After picking up some lunch at Replete in Taupo I swung by the Craters of the Moon.

Following Taupo it was full speed ahead for Matangi. South of Tokoroa I hit a queue, and soon all the cars were doing u-turns - the word filtering down was to detour via Whakamaru. That lead to half an hour or so of confusion and 180s, until I found the SH30 turnoff. The extra hour or so was a pain, but that route is really something else! Beautiful cliffs and lake, particularly in the waning sun. I reached Cambridge as night fell, and spent a magic night in Matangi. The intensity of life as my departure nears - it continues to intensify. I'm back in Auckland now, until Saturday, when I'm off to Ange's farewell party - stand by for a Humpty Dumpty start to my final week here in the southern hemisphere.

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Blogger ANNA said...

Sounds like a great weekend - I just love your turn of phrase! Makes for fascinating reading.


8:35 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

The minute anyone says Taupo, I come zooming in! And now I hear that you came through Whakamaru - hey, you drove right past me. It is a beautiful spot.

8:53 AM  

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