We ate a lot of ice creams on the way down and kept our eyes peeled for real-fruit ice creams especially. We stopped at Tirau which was Timaru cut out of corrugated iron. Everything is made out of corrugated iron there; signs and shop fronts mainly. We had an ice cream because they had Joe's favourite flavours: pink and green. I don't know much about the fruity flavours of ice creams other than the colour because I always go for the choc/cookie/cara-combo. It was a really delicious ice cream and was expertly scooped by a 12 year old girl and her 10 year old sister/cousin/friend. There was a woman who was also there she came and wiped the table top I was sitting at outside. I said, "this is a really tasty ice cream", she said pardon and I said, "this is a really tasty ice cream". I bet the girls got paid in ice cream and what if that was how we quantified wealth? Little kids reign in gum drops.
|Joe eats a pink (strawberry) ice cream.|
We travelled for a bit. I drove and Joe slept and I looked all around at the lovely day and ate cabin bread probably. We got to Rotorua. I hadn't been before. Mum had warned me about the smell but either she was exaggerating or the wind was blowing the smell away or I need to shower more because I hardly noticed it. Are there any other negative externalities of Sulphur City other than the smell? Obviously no health disadvantages but what about increased rates of corrosion? Seemed pretty well maintained though:
|The sounds of bubbling mud was better than anything.|
We had to find somewhere to stay, we wanted to before it got too dark so we could enjoy the last little thumbs of sunlight and maybe read/walk/cabin bread. We travelled on the outskirts of the Ureweras and before we found a DOC camping ground we passed this hill we coined Sheep Hill. I had been searching for a sheep hill to photograph since I went to Blenheim in November and read Wild Sheep Chase. I really really enjoyed the book even though it was last in the Trilogy of the Rat series and I hadn't read the first two. It made me think about the descent of ethnicity and how people aren't easily identifiable anymore and also how the Sheep Man was a bit Lynchian but with subtitles and also how Murakami would probably get along with Rian Johnson really well because they both like Dashiell Hammett and mysteries and recurring animal imagery.
|Haruki inspired. Actually took a better one but that's a secret, plus the sheep on the right pulled a lot of strings to get in the photo.|
At the camp site it was just old people in caravans. There was even a toilet! There was a lake too and I parked the campervan fastidiously with the back facing the very edge of the camp site by the shrubbushtrees for eXtra PRiVACY. Also didn't have to turn it around in the morning which probably saved us about 30 seconds of travelling time. We looked through Dad's bins at the stars and there were so many I haven't seen so many stars before. There were clusters and groups and brights and couples and shapes and constellations everywhere. There were a lot of stars.
Star starstarstar. Star. StarSTAR STAR/starstarstar. St.a.r. Star starstar star? STAR!!
There were a lot of stars. I wanted to touch them and kiss them and hug them and brush them with my eyelashes. In the morning there were American geese and ducks around which is the next best thing. I got my photo taken with some geese. Interesting new fact: these geese do not appreciate attempted domestication. Didn't touch a crumb. Not like ducks/sparrows. Rebellious as FUCK.
This new day we went through Taupo. Big stupid town. Boring as. Big as lake though but that's about it. Also really lovely ladies in second hand shops and geese mugs and lots of cassette tapes that don't work in campervans. We came up with a new system of pasting: heapsconcentrated. We offloaded a bunch of water and flying-types around the lake and Joe went for a swim.
|Naturalism exposed. Science and the supernatural: Lake Taupo.|
|The shortest swim in the world.|
We filled up the campervan with water and in the toilet I was sandwiched between two ladies who had just transacted a goat and were now discussing the weather. I had cabin bread with Vegemite*.
*There was no Marmite.