We headed over the hill to the Wairarapa this weekend. It’s the most beautiful place I know of around here – sunnier, less windy, warmer (sometimes a little too much so) and the small town feel is like a balm after the constant rush of big city life. We were super lucky to meet Jannelle from Heart Felt. She is so lovely and made me feel much less shy than usual. Plus she has the world’s cutest little baby (you knew I’d mention that!) AND the view from her front door looks like this:
When I dragged myself away from playing with baby toes Dave took me to Waiohine Gorge. He’s tried to take me for over 3 years so I thought we best finally do it. Not sure it was a wise move. First he tried to coax me across The Swing Bridge of Doom:
It’s made of solid steel and is very sturdy I am sure but every step Dave took behind me the bridge bounced. I knew it was a swing bridge, I didn’t know that meant it would try to throw you off with every step. I’m not big on heights and as I inched along the trees fell away and suddenly I found myself about 1,000 feet in the air. At least. And Big Foot behind me didn’t help. It was with extreme courage that I let go my vice grip on the rail and turned around to go back to land…which proceeded to sway the same way the bridge had.
Next we went down into the gorge to the river where we paddled in the blissfully cold water. Unfortunately to get to the river edge you need to cross a beach of large, irregular and unstable rocks. The pain and embarrassment potential is huge. Plus, you’re paddling away and thinking how good it feels when you turn your head to see that bloody bridge:
See, I said it was 1,000 feet up and I was only exaggerating a little. I actually meant 2,000 feet. So we turned away and Dave tried to make me walk along this beach of moving rocks down to a swimming hole. It would have taken me easily 15 minutes to stumble that far…and that didn’t include the walk back. A large butt and clumsy feet doing that without falling? Oh no no no. We left the beach and headed for the car…then I realised my rookie mistake. Going DOWN a gorge means you need to go back UP the gorge.When we got back to the car I hugged the back of the seat and tried not to cry. In my defense though…the final bit of the path up I ran! I ran uphill. It must have only been 5 metres or so but I count that a huge victory considering my exhaustion. When Dave caught up he said “I bet you wish you hadn’t done that”. Considering I still had to walk back to the car he was right.
After I had pried my arms from around the car seat we drove to a friend of Dave’s who lives in the country. She and her young son moved in with her mum after her dad died in a car accident and they live in this small commune-like Utopia:
Apart from the fact that the building on the left is a long drop it’s utterly idyllic out there and since Rarotonga has proved too expensive (the trade off for buying a house we like so much) this is where I hope to get married early next year. Down the other end of the garden from the long drop.
Her son had a pirate birthday party last year and they were still flying this:
We found a shop that sells them locally and are absolutely going to fly one at our new house. In the back yard only. It looks a little odd to fly a pirate flag without a kid and we’d like to hide our wierdness as long as possible from our new neighbours.
(BTW this has been blogged on a laptop so can anyone on a PC let me know if the photo colours are too screwy. I’m still adjusting to the change in graphics. And excuse any typo’s, the keyboard is different to me)