Yesterday I had to get out of my car park, so I went for a drive around Wellington. I love how major routes in the inner suburbs consist of winding, hilly street. I managed to find my way along these winding, hilly streets to the Chapel of Futuna in Karori. It’s magnificent.

So then I headed back up north. I used to be able to do Auckland to Wellington in a day, but in these post-9/11 days, uh, it’s nice to have a break along the way.

Just north of Foxton (no longer New Zealand’s Foxtown, but all their signs seem to be shaped like the local water tower, which ain’t no Hawera water tower), I saw a snow peaked mountain range. I was trying to figure out what it was until I realised it wasn’t a mountain range – it was just some hills.

As I drove on, the snow-covered landscape increased, until I was driving through one of those winter wonderland things. My previous experiences with snow are: Ruapehu once in the ’80s, and Palm Springs on Christmas Day in ’93 (true!). So to drive through landscape entirely covered with snow was really cool.

So I stopped off in Taupo. It’s bloody cold. -4 degrees last night, but fortunately the motel was geared up for chilliness. I’m rather looking forward to getting back to rain old Auckland.

And the road becomes my bride

Taupo was fun. There was a bit of a bittersweet tang near the end, but it was mostly fun. It’s an interesting town. Teh Matt observed that lots of businesses (like cafes) had teenagers working there, when in Auckland they’d normally be staffed by people in their late teens to mid-twenties.

The thing is that Taupo has no university or tech, so I guess for a lot of people once they’ve finished high school, the next step is to get out of Taupo and go to a big city. The high school aged kids are left to take up the slack. Fast Times at Taupo-Nui-A-Tia College?