Friday, March 10, 2017

An introvert abroad - day 7

Day 7.

The Mountain.

Remember when service station attendants used to fill your car with fuel for you? Yeah, seems they do that here. I didn't know what to do with myself while he did, so I ended up buying a drink I didn't really need. Not sure if it's good old-fashioned service or clever sales tactics. Maybe both.

I climbed a small area of Mount Taranaki. About 3 hours of walking altogether. If I had more time and fitness, I'd have stayed longer and done the "goblin forest" walk too (isn't it magical that is actually a thing, not just a figment of the imagination).

So, so beautiful. It seems strange to call something natural "amazing", when it's there all the time. Creatures and plants and animals and fungi and bacteria and precipitation and sunlight all doing their thing. We cityfolk just forget about it, surround ourselves with things, landscapes modified beyond recognition.

At lunch I met a rooster named Grandfather, in a homely barn converted to a country restaurant. I ate a Prutje dutch pancake (well, half of it. It was a calzone-style filled pancake that was possibly bigger than my head).

On the way back, I stopped randomly in a little town and found the memento I've been looking for (one that eluded me in the tourist gift shops and bigger centres). A hand carved stone pendant in the symbol manaia: "(Guardian Angel) The manaia symbolizes a mythical being with a bird’s head a human body and fish tail. The invisible light surrounding a person."

Has it really been a week already? It seems like much less and much more time simultaneously.

Mount Taranaki with his head in the the clouds

Tethered to the sky

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