We were greeted by sheets of rain in the morning and were very grateful to be inside, warm and dry! We were invited to spend some time with our wonderful hosts, Debby and Neville, who gave us some great advice about our remianing time in New Zealand. They also gave us wonderful cups of coffee made in their full-blown espresso machine. It made the rain slip from our minds as we planned our future adventures.
In the late afternoon, despite the rain we decided to go out and explore the local area. We started off at a place called The Grove...a wonderful area with rocky formations. Upon these rocks there are large trees, whose roots cling to the living stone and tumble to the mossy surface below. It is very eerie and puts one in mind of fantasy books...and films...like "The Lord of the Rings". I was anticipaitng elves and trolls at every turn.
We followed this by a trek to the Pupu Hydro Service...which is a very interesting hydro-electiric generation operation taking advantage of a "water race" which had been built in the early 1900s to divert water for gold mining. The resuting waterway follows the curve of the mountain and a walk way has been built beside it. It started with a climb up to the water race way which was fed from a waterfall, then a walk along it. We were up very high as we started to follow the waterway, and the boardwalk seemed so narrow, but as we continued along the boardwalk got ever narrower until we were walking on a surface about nine inches wide with the water race to one side and the mountain dropping away to the other.
One very funny thing was that we have often despaired at the lack of picnic tables...especially at places where we expect to see them, like camp grounds. Imagine our surprise when, after climbing up a steep hill and walking along an impossibly narrow boardwalk, we came across a picnic table...in the place we least expected it! We both laughed out loud!!
The rain was pouring down the entire time we were there, and by the time we were finished we were soaked through to the skin.