Home again and glad to be here.
Looking to the rising sun across Lake Taupo from the historic wharf at Tokaanu
It was a great trip in all its various parts. Yesterday began very early in Tokaanu, where I overcame my habitual avoidance of mornings. I went down the road towards Little Waihi to catch the sun rise over the lake. Click on this and all the pictures for a better view.
The duck enjoys geothermal warmth and fits right into the wondrous colours of the new day at Tokaanu
Beside the road there are places where local rivers mingle with geothermal steam and the growth in the various pools is lush and colourful The duck is incidental. It was the colours that attracted me. Other shots not shown here show clouds of steam hovering over the surface.
Heavy weather to the East of the Desert Road
After breakfast, we completed our packing and took a fairly direct route home down SH1. The Desert Road was less clear than on the Northward journey and there were some heavy-looking clouds out to the East.
The central mountains – Ruapehu in the Centre and Ngauruhoe to the Right
On the other side of the road, there was more clear sky, but the mountain peaks were shrouded in cloud.
Memories of days gone by – Taihape
Down the road, a little past Taihape, there is an old derelict house. It is obviously photographed often because the sign posted beside the door is apparently a notice telling photographers that they are unwelcome. I never got close enough to see. However a friend said it put her in mind of the lyrics to the song by
Shakin Stevens Stuart Hamblen …
This old house once knew my children,
this old house once knew my wife,
this old house was home and comfort
as we fought the storms of life*
Fruit trees around this old house in Mangaweka suggest it was a happy place
At Mangaweka, another old house demanded my attention. It was obviously someone’s well-loved home because it is surrounded by pip and stone fruit trees, many of which still bear fruit.
Stevens Hamblen comes to mind again:
this old house once rang with laughter,
this old house heard many shouts,
now it trembles in the darkness
when the lightning walks about.*
They take a firm approach to speeding motorists at Hunterville (kidding). The army passes by.
A comfort stop at Hunterville was made more memorable as a squadron of Canadian-built LAV III armoured fighting vehicles passed through. I think they belong to the Queen Alexandra Mounted Rifles, a regiment of the New Zealand Army, Based at Linton Military Camp near Palmerston North. I think we are blessed as a country that, except on ceremonial occasions, we very rarely encounter the weapons of war.
And now, as I said, we are home again.
* This Old House by Stuart Hamblen
Note: The use of the lyrics to This Old House is not intended to refer in any way to the real owners or occupiers, past or present of the houses pictured.