Completing our Loop the Loop of the Central North Island
It was a cracker day for the last of our holiday. A slight frost, steam rising from the hillsides as the sun warmed the paddocks, not a breath of wind – Joni Mitchell on the playlist, the road to ourselves. Life is good we tell each other. We stopped for an early lunch at Mangakino. The town is slightly off the highway, we wanted to check out the hydro lake. Fog lay over the place like a damp blanket. It took the edge off things a bit. So instead of heading straight to the lake we stopped for an early lunch at The Hui Hut – brilliant name for a café. And I’m happy to report that the rolls were ultra fresh, the coffee good, the decor appealing. There was a Dr Seuss poster on display: “Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you.” Perfect for a blogger who worries sometimes about the consequences of putting things out there. For any creative types reading this there’s an interesting article here about this very issue.
In the cafe the large flat screen TV was tuned to Waka Huia. We didn’t budge from our seats. Those of you who saw the programme will know that the episode was the third of four commemorating the Land Wars. This episode told the story of the battle of Orakau, in the Waikato, not that far from where we’ve spent a good portion of the last week. The Maori warriors were out manned and out gunned, but they fought to the end, firing peach pits and pieces of wood when the bullets were gone. It was a stark reminder that it hasn’t always been peaceful here, that colonisation is violent and unjust. That where-ever they occur wars are about power, greed, and fear. It’s difficult to put my finger on how I felt watching it. Ashamed, I think. And sorry. And ripped off – there were a lot of false promises made to the early settlers to get them to come here and, once here, for most of them there was no way back. It’s all very complicated. I do agree with the commentator who put the case for a national day to commemorate the Land Wars. It’s long overdue.
By the time the programme ended the fog had gone. Down at the lake, the sun was out and we could only be grateful that, for us, our times are relatively peaceful.
A wander along the shore, a chat on the telephone to son Number One, and it was time to head towards home.
This map shows, more or less accurately, where we’ve been. Side trips aren’t included.
I’ve got a lot to learn about Google Maps and how to create custom maps. There must be a way to get more control over the content. Can you hear me laughing? Control over Google? That’d be an exercise in futility!
Categories: Off The Beaten Track in Aotearoa