Last week was a very interesting time. I have been holed up in Auckland getting organised for my now 43 day stint on Great Barrier Island. Also it looks like Kidds Bush Reserve is off the cards due to a bit of an interesting situation between the leasees and the local council. The road is currently padlocked and no one is able to access the campsite.
Anyway….. a dear friend of mine, Alison was in a bit of a pickle, she needed to get her car to Wellington…. don’t as, a long story about kids flying in from overseas for the silly season. The difficultly is that she is unable to drive that distance due to health issues. So I volunteered to be the designated driver for her. So Friday morning we set off from Auckland and headed south. As we were not in a huge hurry i was decided that we would take the scenic route down SH1 to Taupiri for breakfast at Hop’in Stop’in. A great little cafe there that serves great food and awesome coffee!
From there it was turn right at Ngaruawahia onto SH 39 and off towards Otorohanga. We stopped at a couple of second hand shops on the way and had a lovely time exploring. From there it was SH 3 through to Te Kuiti and then at Eight Mile Junction, a left hander onto SH 4 and through to Taumarunui and then onto SH 43 and through the Forgotten World Highway to have lunch in the Independent State of Whangamomona.
On the way there were a number of interest stories told and one was about the weird green eggs being laid in paddocks around the country. It turns out that these are dinosaur eggs according to one set of grandparents. So then there was some interesting discussion about the recent discovery of what have been referred to as marshmallows that keep appearing in some paddocks. Both pink and white ones…..
It actually turns out that there are food for the newly hatched dinosaurs. Mostly they were seen in conjunction with the green eggs….
The decision was that there is a great children’s book here somewhere…..
The weather was not the greatest, but was not ugly and we had a lovely run.
We stopped at a number of points on the way, that should have enabled us to see Mt Taranaki in one direction and Mt Ruapehu in the other, but the cloud was not playing nice. Was still a nice view anyway.
We paused for a loo break at the grave of Joshua Morgan, the surveyor of the road through the area. He was suffering from what they believe was appendicitis. Unfortunately by the time the poor soul who had trekked out to get medication for him returned he was dead. He is buried there and some 60 years later his wife died and asked to be buried with her late husband (not necessarily in that order). A lovely spot even in the drizzle.
It was a lovely 2 min walk through the bush to the gravesite.
From there it was off to lunch.
A lovely lunch was had in the pub there. Over the road is one of the stops for the Scenic Railway trip that is run using golf carts that have been converted to run on the tracks.
An interesting thing happened on the way into town here. I was being followed by the Rural Delivery postie and had stopped at all the railway crossings where there were stop signs. As we pulled up at the Whangamomona Hotel, the postie came up and said to me “You know you don’t have to stop at the rail crossings any more as the trains no longer run”. I laughed and said that I was sorry but I tend to obey the law and comply with all road signs. He laughed and told me that it was only the golf carts running and that they had to give way to us!
So after a lovey lunch of fish and chips on one side of the table and a chicken burger on the other we set off towards Stratford and more second hand shops…..
On the way we say some more dinosaur eggs with their food cubes….
So we arrived after much fossicking around antique and second hand shops into Wellington in lovely fine weather around 8pm.
On Saturday we met up with some of Alison’s family and headed out to Lower Hutt for the Christmas in the Park……
An interesting evening where interestingly enough there were a large number of very bored children being taken home quite early. Organisers of these events really need to stop dragging dinosaurs out of the cupboard. Ray Wolf may well have been awesome in his day but there were a large number of people who had no idea who he was. It was a very slow, bluesy, jazzy evening instead of being an upbeat fast paced exciting evening…yawn! but the fireworks were worth the wait.
At least it didn’t rain but we were all rugged up. I look like an extra from the NZ movie The Navigator.
I will post this now and then the next post will be all about the trip back……