Thursday 6 July 2023

Bad start, good finish

With thanks to Destination Wairarapa for this famil

Phew, busy day today. Lots of miles covered, people met, things seen and learned (and promptly forgotten) - but definitely enjoyed. Chilly start, though. Thanks, by the way, to the OWM who, when I said as much as I passed him on my way to Parehua's restaurant for breakfast, sternly corrected my comment to praise the sparkling morning. Hadn't noticed that.

Lovely Luke at Longbush Cottage restored my good temper with his contagious enthusiasm for the tulip. He plants about 6,000 of them every winter, in pots and beds around his pretty little cottage, to bloom during his Tulip Festival in early October. It tells you everything about his eagerness, that I got caught up in it all despite, right now, there being nothing to see but the odd tiny green tip poking through all the mulch. It'll be splendid, for sure.

Next I headed, through lovely winter scenery, to Masterton, for a bit of art at Aratoi, the big gallery there. There was some good stuff to look at but I was most impressed by the current exhibition of a huge model moon, constantly rotating to show off its hidden side. It was a bit alarming, to see that it's much more pitted on the far side than the smoother surface we can see - because of all those meteors it cops, which would presumably otherwise hit Earth. Thanks, moon.

Masterton is home to the Golden Shears competition and of course has a detailed museum covering every aspect of shearing sheep; also plenty of art and a very popular park with a miniature train and an excellent minigolf course I would love to have taunted the Baby with - but I had an appointment to keep up the road.

Pukaha is a wildlife sanctuary I've been to before, but this time I was shown around by the inimitable Everlyne, who was irrepressibly full of information and - yes - enthusiasm. She told me lots of interesting things, and took me to see a kokako who only likes men, so Everlyne collared a passing one to take to the enclosure so the bird would come and talk to us. As it/she did - though, disappointingly, she didn't drop the f-bomb as she has been known to.

The eels were pretty impressive, too, big and so eager for a feed that they nearly wrenched the spoon away. The whole place was well done if, today, a little light on actual bird life, despite Everlyne's best efforts. Didn't matter, though - she was the real star.

Masterton is a perfectly pleasant town, with some impressive buildings, but it suffers from being so close to Greytown, which is outrageously pretty and full of character, as well as a whole range of quirky boutiques and other attractions. One of them is the White Swan Hotel, which was moved here from Wellington in six bits, one of them dramatically falling off its truck on the way over the Remutakas. 
I had a very tasty dinner there before going out to admire the town's current Festival of Christmas, with lots of decorations, lights and big slides. I'll be back again for a proper look around tomorrow.

No comments:


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...