Sunday, March 25, 2007

The Forgotten World Highway

The Forgotten World Highway is a spectacular drive. Particularly in stormy weather with rock falls all along its winding length. It is a heritage trail taking in many historic sites including Maori fortified villages, waterfalls and abandoned coal mines. But it's also a long drive - and we had decided to head on to Wellington, so we didn't stop and look around. Twelve clicks are unsealed ... and the banjos are playing - particularly at Whangamomona, a village that has declared itself independent from the rest of New Zealand. They won't last long though - a nation unprepared to serve a cup of coffee at 10am is unlikely to be a going concern, it seems to me.

We pushed through Stratford to Wanganui and lunched at Stellar, but wished we hadn't. The gourmet pizzas were very boring and we retired to Vega, across the road, for a decent cup of coffee ... only to wish that we had eaten there instead.

The drive down to Wellington was OK but not exactly memorable. The most exciting bit was in the immediate approach to Wellington where the road seemed to be only just reclaimed from the sea and looked as if it might be taken back if a particularly big wave decided to have a go.

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