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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Polynesian Seranade

In case you’re wondering, we managed to get through the night without blowing ourselves up, gassing ourselves, or setting fire to the place. We’d stopped using the other gas cooker because its spark producer no longer worked and we had to use a fire lighter to produce a flame. Apart from that it’s perfectly safe and useable.

Today was another exciting day… I did a load of washing.

I must admit that this afternoon was more interesting. This morning we’d saw a ferry come in and drop off quite a large number of people for a non-holiday autumnal Wednesday. Shortly afterwards we were astonished to hear what sounded like that beginnings of a haka…

Then there was nothing.

This afternoon I heard someone call “Talofa” across the bay, which, as you may have guessed, was unusual. But then there was nothing more… Until we heard the rhythm of Polynesian drums. Curious we went around to the Pole House/Information Centre to see what was going on. There was a hoard of people in the shelter of the Pole House and a man was giving a group a lesson in how to do a Polynesian dance. They were all having such fun that we stayed and watched (and took photos – we never go anywhere on Rangitoto without our cameras.)

Once that lesson, and much hilarity from the participants, was over, then another group performed an island dance – complete with drummers using whatever they could find as instruments. I must say that it was an unusual, but effective use of a stoat trap and the walls of the Pole House have never sounded so good. I think, judging by words on the back of a couple of the participants’ t-shirts, they may have been from French Polynesia.

Then, once that dance was over, another group of young ladies got up and replied with a Maori Waiata, before we were all entertained by another Polynesian song.

The other travellers who had nothing to do with either group were certainly getting a little extra with today’s ticket.

I asked one lady who was clearly with the group who they were, but I have my doubts that she understood me. The only word that I understood in reply was “Holiday”. I hope that I managed to convey that we’d enjoyed listening and watching them.

We left them to wait for their ferry and took the long route home, through Kowhai Grove and Kidney Fern Glen. There were valleys in the tracks that were lovely and cool, but the poor old Kidney Fern were looking desperate for a drink. When they are fully hydrated they are lush and green and look like, guess what…? Kidneys! But when they don’t have enough moisture they curl up and become black. The roads may have had puddles in them when we arrived on Saturday, but we haven’t had any rain since and plant life is starting to feel the effects.
Kidney Fern
Thought you'd like to see the Parade Ground in daylight

I got some sea water to flush the longdrop this afternoon and the fantails were flitting around me chasing the moths I was kicking up. I could hear their beaks snapping shut on their meals.

Easter we’ll be staying with friends and Ann told us last week to bring our swimming togs so we could make use of their hot tub. The problem is that I haven’t seen my togs since we were in Rotorua with Pen. (I’m sure they’re at home somewhere, I just don’t know where somewhere is!) D.C. had a bright(?) idea that we may still have one of Nan’s swimsuits here at Rangi and maybe I could wear them. As it’s only a private hot pool this sounded like a cheaper option than buying togs especially for the occasion. The pair we found look to date from the 1960s and after a wash we hung them on the line. Looking at them I started to think that I was seeing a bit more daylight through them than I might have been comfortable with. Upon closer inspection it turned out that the cotton in the seam has rotted and the stitching up the back has come undone!

Time to dig out a needle and some thread? If we have any.

The workmen have been working on the wharf (due to be completed November 2013) this week and because they were hoping to start demolishing the old wharf at the end of the month we took the opportunity when they’d left to go down to both wharves and get plenty of photos. It was during the golden hour of photography before the sun sets and the light was beautiful. On the way home we were passed by a low flying White Faced Heron.

Last day at Rangitoto tomorrow. :-(

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