Unhealthy Fears

Trip Start Sep 09, 2004
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
Victoria Park Holiday Park

Flag of New Zealand  ,
Tuesday, March 8, 2005

We left Mt Somers yesterday after breakfast, heading South along Route 72 - the Inland Scenic Route. A couple of hours later we arrived in Waimate. I checked with the information office as to the treks in the area which really only consisted of a few historic town walks and some shorter treks. The main trek being the Waimate Walkway - a two and a half hour round trip high in to the hills to see the 'White Horse Monument'. With the info in hand we checked in to the Victoria Park Holiday Park which is by far (for the excellent facilities provided) the best value holiday park we've come across. We quickly agreed to stay for at least a night and after shopping for dinner, we chilled outside in the afternoon sun catching up with a bit of reading.

I feel it's worth reporting that Mannion's starting to develop a very unhealthy fear of flies. She was stung by a wasp in Methven a few days ago, just outside the information centre and I while I deeply sympathise and can only imagine the horror, I really don't think she's over it. At all. She's resorted to completely over-reacting any time a single, common household fly comes within any reasonable range of her personal space. Her unnecessary reaction has now started to become the norm, and we're all aware of what to expect. Completely out of nowhere, she will suddenly begin; swift, flailing arm movements accompanying short screams of terror, followed by a swift, desperate sprint in the opposite direction. It's wrong. I have told her for her sake it really needs to stop. They are not even wasps. And I thought I was bad. Actually, now I come to mention it, I think I'm starting to improve. Last night, I let a fully grown killer moth graze on my arm for a few moments without making a single sound or movement. No fuss. Nothing. I continued to read my book quite peacefully, glancing down now and again to see if my arm was still there and it was. The moth eventually left me in peace and I was still alive. Progress. The Mannion still isn't helping though.

Waimate is well known for its abundance of wallabies that have for many years, interestingly enough, chosen to take up residence here. You can visit them at the local wildlife park if you really must but what's really special, is that it's possible to go on a night time bush walk guided by searchlight, that takes you right in to the heart of where they reside for you to see them in the wild. Waimate is also where Billy Connoly's wife's great-grandparents married (or at least renewed their vows). I know this because Traoine is reading his biography at the moment and got all excited (between her hysterical fly encounters) when she discovered it yesterday afternoon - having read it, ironically, in Waimate. It's also popular for growing beautifully fresh strawberries and raspberries and on the way in to town we invested and indulged in a large pot of the best, freshly made strawberry sundae I've ever tasted.

This morning I was more than grateful for my general mobility. No different to yesterday, the old legs are still hurting a little following the trek of death, but they're not causing me any problems at all. In fact, I'd be more than happy to walk up in to the hills right now. It's very odd that they seem to be okay and I'm very surprised but I'm not complaining. As I said I'm very grateful. Sadly though, it's a very very different story for the little Chicken. She could barely get out of bed this morning. Her legs were solid. Immovable. She's been in agony most of the morning. She also has my sincerest sympathy. I've been there and it's nasty.

I was actually intending to do the Waimate walkway today around noon to see the white horse monument but the weather wasn't looking too good and we'd already agreed to move on and further South. So after updating the Travelogue a little and a gloriously hot shower, we left in the early afternoon along the East coast and on to Oamaru. For some inexplicable reason, we were all in very high spirits when we arrived at the 'Top 10' after shopping for supplies. The girls had bought a few bottles of wine and promptly started on them as soon as we arrived. I accompanied them with a few beers and watched as the transition between merry and hammered happened miraculously, like the flick of a switch. It was quite fascinating to watch.

Oh and it's me Mom's birthday today. Her 60th one too and I can't call until tomorrow otherwise she won't know what the hell I'm talking about. Though by the time she reads this, her birthday will have been and gone so from me:- 'Have a great one Muth, missing you loads and just want to thank you eternally for being the Mom that you are and for giving me this brilliant life..'

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