The Desert Rd was closed due to all that wonderful snow that had been sent at my request. So, around the western side of the mountains we went enjoying places we had picnicked at during the Summer months now all covered in freezing white.We drove past trees packed with fresh snow driven against one side. The fence posts were all the same…solid white on one plane only.Sheep trying desperately to escape the wintry blast under trees and ridges.
Looking at our map and checking our time we made the impulsive decision to go on to Wellington via Whanganui. I had never been but was inquisitive to see. We had no idea of the road we would encounter filled with slips and one way passes, nor the brown stream gathering momentum as it traveled on far below us hurtling towards that brown Whanganui River. Steep hillsides drenched with rain, sheep meeting their demise on rain-sodden cliffs, farmhouses huddled in sheltered corners with smoke signals of warmth and protection from the elements… these are images engraved from this trip.
As we traveled further towards the sea and Whanganui the surrounding hills became less intimidating, no longer reaching between heaven and earth on a 15° angle. With it our racing stream joined the Whanganui River and joined in the merry brown dance for the sea. Tied to the river edge was a paddle boat used to enjoy this waterway under, hopefully, more enchanting conditions.
The town hugs each side of this brown river.Old buildings not hurried by time or fashion. Port and industry close to the river mouth. And dotting the horizon are beautifully engineered water towers. Of course, this gave rise to a lesson from my darling dearest on the workings and function of this feature of old-town New Zealand. Clever ingenuity!
Thanks, Whanganui for the drive-through visit and the impromptu science lesson. I now have an idea of what you look like.