Saturday 21 November 2020

Two sorts of watering

It's just lovely, to start your day sitting in a window with a view like this. And, happily, it continued in much the same vein. After breakfast (pretty good Bircher muesli, I'm pleased to say - regular 😀 readers will know I am an expert on the subject) we went into Taupo to get more story material. First stop was the Taupo bungy, which I'd last seen from below, kayaking past along the mighty Waikato. 

The novelty here is that, first, it's from a 47m high clifftop; and then that you can do it tandem, or as a swing. I was surprised it was so busy - there was a constant stream of people flinging themselves over the edge - and disappointed that they were all so cool about it. I mean, not one person screamed! Did they not realise they had a performance to put on for us spectators? I suppose it's because bungying is so businesslike and run-of-the-mill these days - although also still enough of an event for people to do it, like one man I watched, to mark special days - for him, his 60th birthday.

Next came the Hole In One Challenge - where you hit a golf ball from the shore and try to get it into one of the three holes on a pontoon moored 102m out in the lake. Obviously, you buy a bucket of balls, up to 50, although the supremely self-confident can just have one go, for $1.50. I don't know if anyone has succeeded doing that, but they do average a hole-in-one about every fortnight. And someone scored the $10,000 prize for the hardest hole two years ago. They go out with a snorkel and dive for the lost balls every day, since you ask. 

We called in then at l'Arté Café and Gardens, in Acacia Bay, which is a lovely example of outdoor mosaic work, if not as over-the-top impressive as the Giant's House in Akaroa. It's really pretty, and I was especially taken by how comfortable the cushions on the sofas were, in the open-air living room. They were obviously modelled on real bottoms. It was colourful and pretty, and fun, and there was lots of art tucked away around the garden to discover, as well as a studio to nose into. Pretty good coffee, too.

I went next to explore Woody's Place, which is an art gallery near Kinloch Manor, and where, once you've got past the soppy Labrador begging for pats, there's heaps to admire and enjoy inside. Woody himself was there, working at his - of course - wood-turning in a dark and crowded workshop next door. In the gallery were paintings, photography, pottery, jewellery, furniture and more, all well done and well-priced. No photos allowed there, so instead here's one of the iconic McDonald's DC3 back in Taupo:

Kinloch itself was next: I expected it to be full of retired people but actually, there were all sorts and ages of people wandering the streets and along the lake shore, and it was nice. There was even a free book and toy library in a little hut on the beach; and the Tipsy Trout café looked good. Boy, though, the marina! So many expensive-looking boats! And there was a housing estate that looked eye-watering.

And then it was back to Kinloch Manor for another really lovely dinner, in the library this time. I had to skip the soup because, despite resolutions, I was unable to resist the canapés beforehand; but the rest of it was so delicious, my mouth is watering just remembering it.

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