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Sunday, April 20, 2014

20 April 2014 - last day

Firstly an apology. I’ve backed up today’s photos to my external backup hard drive, but haven’t downloaded them to this computer.

Not that we’ve done anything particularly exciting – apart from seeing an 800-year-old Rimu tree.

Ann’s wanted to show us this tree since the day we arrived and, as the weather wasn’t as bad as it’s been threatening to be all week, and as good as it has been for most of the week, we decided to see it this morning.

The tree is part of the Otari-Wilton Bush reserve and once again we had to deal with a few steps. I pulled D.C. up them. Not really, but I held her hand so that she had something to hang onto if she needed that little extra oomph.

It is beautiful over there, in some respects better than Zealandia because the paths and bush seem to be more… “raw” was the word Ann used. Zealandia’s easy walking and you get to see Takahe and Tuatara, but Otari-Wilton seems to be more like the bush should be, with good, but still rough paths.

When we reached the peak of our trek we were treated to see the 800-year-old Rimu. I probably don’t have a photo that will give you a true idea of its size, so it doesn’t matter that you’re not seeing it now. But it was beautiful with its gnarled roots, one of which seemed to be hold the others back as if it were trying to keep them in place. I do have a photo of that. And, like many of the more mature trees in that bush, there’s a mature garden of epiphytes growing in its branches.

Nearby is another Rimu. It’s clearly younger that the 800-year-old beauty, but like the one we saw yesterday it has patterns in its bark like fingerprint ridges. It also had a stick insect on its trunk.

Photos to come.

We came back and made lunch and then relaxed for the rest of the day. We were making sure our batteries are fully charged up for travelling back to Thames tomorrow and then a full on week for both of us (I think I’ve got a Thames i-SITE / Information Centre meeting on Wednesday).

At least we’ve only got a three day working week to ease ourselves back into it.

We’d promised Ann and Duncan that, to say thank you for having us and as a birthday treat, we’d take them out to dinner, so we went to the Southern Cross tonight. We sat in the retro room, which was fascinating with all sorts of knick knacks from the middle of last century. The meal was very good too. D.C. and I had the Sunday roast of pork, while Duncan had 200g of beef that he cooked on a sizzling hot volcanic stone. Likewise Ann was able to cook her venison and prawns on a stone. Desserts were chocolate brownies for D.C. and me (they were ‘free’ with the roast) and cheesecake for Duncan (his favourite) and Ann had warm brie (with Manuka honey and walnuts), crackers, and free bread, which was lovely but too much for one person. So after we’d all attempted to help her to eat it, the rest was brought home in a doggy box.

Then we had to pack as much as we could, which isn't as much as we'd like as there's so much that we’re going to need tomorrow.

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