Winter Road Trip
Quintessential Rural New Zealand
Where else would you get street names like that?
Marae after marae after marae and a pa thrown in too.
Destination Raglan Wharf
And the surf beach. “Can we just sit in the car at this point?” one of my little female companions wondered aloud. Um, that would be a loud NO! The boys are at their Dangerous Boys’ Weekend – the least we can do is get out of the car and take a walk!
About that walking. It’s obvious, but it’s so different to driving. Today we saw all sorts of beautiful little scenes as we drove……rolling hills, babbling brooks (we presume they were babbling – you don’t hear them when you race past at 100km/hr), corrugated iron sculptures, a pheasant, Maori artwork, a eucalyptus grove and stand of wind turbines that reminded us of Spain, dilapidated old wooden farmhouses, mossy green roads, letterboxes begging to be photographed…..but when you’re in a car you get a glimpse that doesn’t even feel long enough to make an impression and then it’s gone.
Reminded me of Robert Louis Stevenson’s “From A Railway Carriage”. I have always loved the rhythm of this poem, especially when read aloud, but today I appreciate it for the snatches of life that Stevenson saw and recorded, for the fact that he could add a little detail about some bits, but barely captured others. You may not go as far when you walk, but today I had the feeling you see more. In the car I felt hurried. We actually turned around and drove back to get some of the pictures above, but I didn’t feel like I had *looked* the same as when you approach something from a distance and somehow “get to know it” before taking a snap. These are glimpses that would be gone if they weren’t recorded, and might be forgotten anyway. They are images that I didn’t process I had seen until we were past them!
Faster than fairies, faster than witches,
Bridges and houses, hedges and ditches;
And charging along like troops in a battle
All through the meadows the horses and cattle:
All of the sights of the hill and the plain
Fly as thick as driving rain;
And ever again, in the wink of an eye,
Painted stations whistle by.
Here is a child who clambers and scrambles,
All by himself and gathering brambles;
Here is a tramp who stands and gazes;
And here is the green for stringing the daisies!
Here is a cart runaway in the road
Lumping along with man and load;
And here is a mill, and there is a river:
Each a glimpse and gone forever!
Lasting slightly longer, was the institution that is known as The Pokeno Icecream. It is a rare trip that takes us past Pokeno without the car stopping. Today was not one of those days!
Distance: 346km (10-14 days walking!)
PS To those of you who like to read at breakfast-time, I’m sorry – tuck this away until tomorrow. It’s easier to write at night!
PPS No photo was taken from a moving vehicle. I pulled over and stopped before snapping!