Match Day Eve. We wandered around Cambridge, which is the New Zealand equivalent of Newmarket in the sense that it is the centre of the horse racing industry. It’s also a very English looking town, or perhaps what we would like it to be. Again litter free streets, and trees in blossom down the High Street. Well planted gardens and houses made with bricks rather than wood or metal (or at least clad in Brick). Down the High Street is a Horses’ Hall of Fame, or at least I hope that’s what it is, as there are a variety of mosaics of horses’ heads on the pavement. It could of course, be some sort of revenge by the mafia for a race being thrown? About 11 Melbourne Cup winners have come from stables around Cambridge, but the horses’ names meant nothing to me, as my gambling involves a pin in a newspaper on Grand National Saturday.
Over a morning drink, I read a newspaper. A calf (cow) was born earlier in the year, that was all black with a white fern like shape on its forehead. It’s called Ritchie McCow, which has added a degree of sexual confusion to the poor thing. In the manner of the World Cup octopus (was it called Paul?), they have been giving it two bottles of milk labelled with the flags of the two teams in a match, to predict the result. It hasn’t been quite as accurate as the octopus, but with a name like its got, it is unlikely to be in a McDonalds burger too soon – unless Ritchie gets sent off in the Final and the All Blacks go on to loose. For the quarters he/she has predicted: Argentina, England, Ireland and Australia to win the games – that could actually be 100% wrong according to my gut feel!!
On the way to Raglan, we stopped off at Bride’s veil Falls. A 55m waterfall that cascades over basalt in a clearing in temperate forest. It was very pretty, and warrants a mention, among ‘wow’ sites we have seen so far.
Raglan wasn’t originally in my itinary, but was the recommendation of a couple in a bar in Hamilton. It was a good call to fit it in. A bit of a surfers paradise, it has quirky hippy and surf shops, was a sun trap, was situated in a large inlet, and had something I had never seen before – black sand. With the local rock being basalt, and I was told that the sand has high iron content, it is supposed to cure ailments is you walk on it barefooted – well we did for two hours from the town over to the open sea, and with the sun shining on it, it was warm as well, so if I had any ailments, I am sure that they are cured now. It was also dramatic as it had white lines of cockle shells marking previous tides marks. A little gem of a place.
Beach Baby – Barry Blue – a cheesy song for a summery day. And also because I have finished reading ‘blueeyedboy’ by Joanne Harris. (not a holiday read – you have to concentrate too much).