Yesterday I spent the day immersed in Hamilton-related festivities before setting off westward to the Taranaki Region. Most people dissolved in giggles when I told them I was spending more than a week (or is that a day?) here. Buoyed by other more positive accounts I kept an open mind.
Well...Taranaki rocks....protrude from everywhere.
Every hillside on the road in (SH 3) had giant boulders; some smooth, some scraggy, some flat sticking out all over the place. It became the seared-in first impression of the region in my brain. The kind of image that makes you check everywhere for sticking-out rocks and other associated trip hazards such as loose pebbles.
Someone extends their hand to you and you half expect a rock (perhaps one suitable for skimming?) to be proudly protruding from their forearm. Its all rather strange and it wasn't until I saw the beautiful mountain that I had any greater visions of Taranaki.
The cloud ate the mountain that day and each day since. You can only see the foothills, and even if you drive 50km trying to get a better view (*looks guilty*)the cloud still wraps it in it's fluffy arms, guarding it jealously like I might a bag of candy for example. If there's not one clear day between now and Sunday, me and that cloud are going to have words...which is unlikely to change anything...because nature has every right to guard such treasures.
Have had a productive day though, have learned a range of exciting new things in relation to some of the industrial sites I will be going to. "Stick-water" is not something you want to swim in, Im suspicious of any place with an entire room devoted to offal, and remain oddly impressed by people who seem to invent the most digestable euphemisms for the most disgusting processes....amazing...no really it is.