It was quite late when we emerged, + by the time we’d polished off breakfast + got ourselves ready, it was nearly noon. The weather had improved somewhat, tho’ it was still very windy. It was decided that we’d take the scenic road, + just stop off for a couple of short hikes along the way. In fact, our first stop was at a small curio shop cum museum. They had a good mixture of stuff there, some at ridiculous prices, some remarkably reasonable. Then on again, to a spot where we could take a short but steep hike down to the dam of a big reservoir. There are no common law access rights to land in NZ – as compensation there is a complex + healthy system of publicly maintained trails + walkways of various lengths. We sat for a while down by the dam, looking out over a magnificent vista of virtual jungle. Herman + Marge pointed out various trees, birds etc to us, + tho’ my interest in + knowledge of biological matters is slight, it was useful to have an informal couple of guides along with us.
The next stop was to go on a trail down to a small waterfall – this trail was rather muddy, so being the only one not in suitable footgear, I fell behind, + it was something of a struggle to keep my feet dry. And it wasn’t as if the falls were anything very spectacular, since most of it was covered by an outcrop of rock. That done, it was back to the car, + only just in the nick of time, since it immediately hailed furiously. We then called in on another of Herman’s sisters for a cup of tea. She was very nice, like all of the family, it seems, with two pretty girls, + a friendly, rather gentle husband of a Dutchman with a severe red nose. And then home, calling off on the way to buy some hot bread, with a huge, tho’ as it turned out rather tasteless, apple turnover each.
So that was our day, like many days in one’s life, pleasant… but that’s all. It was nice to get out + get some fresh air into one’s lungs, + Herman + Marge revealed quite a fair sense of humour, mostly passive, but that can be just as good company. We had a nice, casual evening, with a meal of spaghetti, + then sitting around a real fire, reading etc. On telly, they had quite a good programme on rock music, with a couple of new, incredibly good videos rock groups seem to be able to turn out at will, followed by an interview with David Bowie, plus some of his videos for good measure. The one of “Ashes to Ashes” is incredibly good. He is a talented man, that is undeniable, Eva + Rory came round for a while, thus presenting us with a chance to pick + choose where we wanted to stay. We didn’t care really, just so long as we didn’t offend anyone, but what seemed the easiest thing to do was to stay with H + M for another night, so that was what was arranged.
Clearly no great urgency in the day’s activities, but good to have some company to show us where to go, what to look out for. While being away, we had very largely missed the revolution in rock music, with every song having its own video. And the Ashes to Ashes one has long been regarded as a classic.