Friday, December 2, 2011

Fire and water

So there I was yesterday, puzzling over how to find a home for a winter story about Northland that was pushed from pillar to post until it was no longer seasonal; at the very same time that a huge bush fire was consuming the peninsula where I stayed up there. Arsonist, the sod, not the first time he's struck - and this time, tragically, he took out a rescue helicopter that crashed into the sea in the smoke, killing the two men on board. (It's not a good time for helicopters right now.)

The Karikari Peninsula is a bit out of the way, so it's quiet and unspoiled: lots of bush, some farmland, a vineyard, scattered baches (holiday homes) and a very little town. And oodles of beautiful beaches, natch. We stayed at Carrington Resort, in a villa overlooking the golf course which was occupied only by pukeko on the damp day we were there, but the sunny morning we left (sigh) there were heaps of people queuing up to use it, including lots of family parties - which was nice to see, even though it blew my mind (we have a long, LONG, family history of endless games of minigolf all around the country that ended, every single one, with the Baby hurling her club to the ground and storming off. Perfect example of hope over experience).

She broke her arm on Monday - a mere crack below the left elbow, nowhere near as incapacitating, I felt obliged to point out, as a properly broken right wrist - which she's hoping isn't going to cramp her style next week in Queenstown where we'll be luge-ing, Segwaying, ziplining and, augh, canyon swinging - as well as walking the Hollyford Valley track. My main concern is that the weather will be kinder than it was when I was last down there walking the Milford Track. Which reminds me: remember to pack quick-drying knickers...

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