Gathan Beaga

flyover country

The best bits of having to go to another city for a day trip are without doubt the flights themselves… if you can get a window seat.

So on the way, you could look to the East through the slightly grubby port, and see:

  • Ruckled low cloud in lines along Ruapehu;

Clouds, Central North Island

  • Fog following the line of the Waikato river from Taupo to Hamilton;

Fog following the Waikato River, Central North Island

  • Frost silvering the plains around Te Aroha;
  • Out in the Bay of Plenty, a fierce orange sun glow surrounding White Island.

Sun on the Bay of Plenty, with White Island

And then, below electronic device switchoff, the marks of surface transportation:

  • Green fields crossed with the desire lines of stock, gate to gate; trough to trough;
  • Giving way to the lifestyle blocks of the rich and famous and their long gravel driveways;
  • And on over the close-packed cubicle houses of new suburbia and their bin-speckled roadways;
  • Leading to thrombotic motorways
  • all converging on
  • The Smoak.

But then you’re down in it, and converging on The Smoak yourselves, the spot-hired vesicle filled with cheesy country music sung in Te Reo. Your grey-haired Pākehā driver checks to make sure you’re ok with the music. Yeah, nah, it’s OK.

You’re still nowhere other than in New Zealand.

And in the afternoon, you do it all over again, backwards.

Dusk over the Central North Island, from (literally) the Bus home