For one thing, our feet were firmly planted on terra firma, Aotearoa style, for the first time in six years. It’s been a month when various forms of transport haven’t been our focus. Unlike travel, the month has seemingly gone by in a slow blur with my usual routines, such as my perfected 2-metre stance and funny dance in the supermarket aisles. Then there was the not so typical, with the welcome arrival of out of town visitors. With changing levels this month came uncertainty with flights even travel within New Zealand has become infuriating for many folk.
Amongst the usual and not so typical, I did collect a few more happy memories via focussing on what I can enjoy and not on situations I have no control over. It has been a month of seeing changes in people and knowing what’s going to eventually happen in the future. Not a great idea looking too far ahead. Some days I glimpsed back at happier times, which lead me to think about how I took my ability to travel the world for granted. Travelling has over the years allowed me to collect a considerable amount happy memories with the Squire and many years previously as a lone traveller. Both types opened my eyes to how life is so different in various parts of the world. You, like myself, are no doubt missing the delights of travel, the aromas, the overeating, the sights and the distinct cultural differences. Instead of dwelling on what is missing in my non-travelling life my thoughts turned to how I could achieve some of those lovely “travel moments”. Right here. In this small corner of the world.
I’m fortunate in some aspects.
I live in a temperate climate in a reasonable scenic part of New Zealand. To be more precise, the Bay of Plenty, where miles of beach beacon a walker to view the comings and goings of people and the sun. From home I can walk through the streets, past mainly nondescript buildings, to where there are small pockets of a lush bush alongside the harbour with the frequent flush of birdlife and native blossoms.
Within a short drive and a longish walk is a mountain that provides soul-stirring views (though not during Level 2). Then it has occurred to me on more than one occasion, it really doesn’t matter where I am when possessing a healthy imaginative traveller’s curiosity.
What did my curiosity find this month?
Away from the harbour, there is a valley, Kopurererua Valley (K Valley), and a place I head to lose myself cycling, to drag myself out of my occasional self pity state to reward myself with “me time” and cycle to my heart’s content, in the wide-open spaces. Hopefully in September I won’t be cancelling joining in with Frocks on Bikes as I have had to do during July and August, due to one thing or another.
Since 2015, on a small hill with a big view, work has been undertaken by the council. They have removed eucalyptus trees and have now finished constructing a floating [to protect the site archaeology from erosion] walkway. At first, I thought it was another attempt to get more Kiwis’ moving their backsides, up and down steps. After a small amount of quizzical google searching I found that I was indeed incorrect. It’s far more significant than an exercise area.
That hill has historical importance to local iwi and where Puketoromiro Pa once stood proudly. Eventually, the area won’t look so barren as native plantings will subsequently be planted where the trees once stood. The restoration of the Pa site has made me more aware that with each step I walk on Papatuanuku [the land] it has the potential for one heck of a story waiting to be retold.
Joining in with Su from Zimmerbitch and the rest of the crew for a review of August.