Tuesday, October 09, 2007

And the horse won by three lengths…

Rest Day in Matakohe

We spent our rest day doing a few different activities. Unlike our first rest day, we actually had energy to get out and do things. This morning we camped out in front of the tele with the rest of the guests to watch World Cup rugby. New Zealand and France were facing of in a quarterfinal. The All Blacks took an early lead but a huge penalty haunted them in the second half. France took advantage and ended up winning. Now New Zealand is a nation in mourning. We’ll root for Fiji next…
By mid-morning we were off to the Kauri Museum which features the history of the kauri tree and gum industry of the 19th century. Kauri trees are quite amazing and rival redwoods in their size. The museum featured every aspect of the industry, including a working sawmill. The life of a kauri bushman back in the day was quite hard compared to the present. Today, the last remaining kauri forests are protected and we will be riding through the biggest area in a couple of days. We should get a chance to see the two trees that are currently the oldest, have the greatest volume and largest diameter.
The rest of the day was spent chatting with a very nice couple from Australia. They live in Portland, Victoria and are here on holiday in a campervan. They gave us the scoop on the road north (surprise – more hills) and told us funny stories about their other travel adventures. The conversation was actually quite extensive and we talked about everything from politics to funny family stories. They even shared that they had recently bought a stake in a horse; and the horse was supposed to run today. They didn’t really know much about horses and didn’t have much faith in their investment. I’m glad that they could share a little bit of their life with us – it was nice to have an ordinary conversation. So far, the topics have revolved around a person’s route through the country and the condition of the roads. Anyway, after going our separate ways for the evening, we found out later that “the horse won by three lengths!”

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