A respectably early start to the day, our schedule dictated by the Lady Knox geyser, who goes off at 10.15 every morning. Doug drove us down there, + we had a bit of time to spare, so we looked at a couple of other little hot-spots- pools + so on. We were the first at Lady Know, buit gradually other people trickled in, + at the right time the man came to perform the ceremony. The reason Lady Knox is so punctual, you see, is that every dqy at 10.15 a man comes along, throws soap-suds down her, + then blocks up her hole with a piece of sacking. Naturally, she blows. It was quite impressive – it lasted longer than I had anticipated, so there was ample time for photographs.
Next on the list was the Waimangu Thermal Park, a really huge place. Doug stayed in the car, reading, while we paid our money + took the walk around the place. It took about an hour altogether, + was again pleasant without being in the least spectacular. I was really keen on seeing pools of bubbling mud, + this particular park didn’t have any, so I was out of luck.
Next was lunch in town, + then Doug had to call in at his work, so that gave us a chance to take a quick look round a big sawmill. It really was big too, + this wasn’t the base company! Doug then drove us over to the north side of town, to see some lakes, principally the Blue + the Green, + then visit the Buried Village, the partly evacuated site of a village destroyed in a volcanic eruption around the turn of the century. In fact, apart from a few artefacts + contemporary accounts of the disaster, the village itself was not very interesting, suffering, I think, from unimaginative presentation, but there was a walk at the end that was really excellent, following a steep trail down by the side of a waterfall – very, very spectacular.
Home then, for drinks. Barbara’s sister + brother-in-law were there, as well as a lady friend, so the company was broadened some. As if in consequence, the drinks seemed to flow even more readily, with the result that virtually everybody was smashed, most particularly poor Reg, Doug’s brother-in-law. At one point, Val had to haul him out of the toilet. He was quite decent, fortunately, but couldn’t make it out the door on his own. Once again, a splendid dinner, after which the party broke up very quickly, + so to bed.
Nice to be driven to the various attractions, rather than our usual clumsy combination of hitch-hiking, walking, buses… and though we had some reservations regarding the whole bubbling mud and geyser industry, it is one of New Zealand’s USPs, so really do need to be seen.
And then the usual sort of McAlpine social occasion, ie lots of booze.