We drove across 2 million acres of managed forests, the biggest in the Southern hemisphere, having paid a quick visit to Hastings to see their Art Deco ( still enthusiastic from the night before) buildings, to Taupo, on Lake Taupo. Taupo is resort like, like Rotoroa, but felt a little more chilled and a little less commercial. The Lake affords views of Mounts Ruepenhi and Tongarriro, but there were no Hobbits or Lord of the Rings themes about.
There is a small museum and art gallery, and some bright spark had the idea of giving 100 local artists a canvass each (100 pictures) to paint draw, collage etc., to sell for 100 dollars each. They generally had local themes for inspiration, but there was also some exciting new ideas. Sadly we were not allowed to take pictures.
Another thing that I’ve noticed about their museums is that there is great emphasis on their Maori history, with neautiful carvings and jade artifacts, but the role of the European seems to be downplayed until the 50’s when it is shown. This seems a little strange to me – maybe a bit PC, as of course, the colonists didn’t always play with a straight bat, but they did build a lot of the pillars of NZ society, and maybe perhaps deserve a bit more coverage.
After lunch we went on a cruise on the lake. No wind, so hardly any swell, and the sun came out, defying the weather forecasters’ prediction of rain.
Apologies to my readers of my blog – I’m slowly catching up after a busy few evenings, and finally posted some blogs. I had a look at the England team, and was inevitably disappointed. We’re France’s for the taking. 22 players in the squad, so why do we need 4 locks, including one who can’t play more than a bit part because of his age. (he will be the first replacement on of course. I wonder if Johnno wants all 22 to be locks. (Best be careful there, I have readers who are, or have been locks). Only 2 backs – 1 to cover wing and centre (at a push), and the other a scrum half, but has played fly half at club level. If the game slips away from us, like the Scottish game nearly did, there’s no one who can change it. I’ve just had a thought Banahan used to be a lock, and Croft ans Easter have played for England there as well – 7 locks in a squad of 22 – nearly a third.
Anyway, after more Maori carvings on the Lake and tea (the days revolve around meal times), I decided we should stay on the road out of Taupo for a quick start. The site that I thought was there 20 minutes out of town, wasn’t and we travelled 2 hours to Cambridge. 4 towns stopped at in one day – I think that is our record.
A lovely warm, sunny afternoon – hence Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel’s version of Here Comes the Sun.