Taking It Easy in New Zealand
The Riverside Lodge sat four kilometres outside Paihia off the main road and, perhaps not surprisingly, by a river. The boss showed me to my room with very civilized en-suite facilities and invited me to bring my bike around the back. As I did so a murderous dog raced at me, snarling hysterically before pulling up sharp on a chain fit to tow a barge.
“Would it be a good idea for me to give him a scratch behind the ears?” I asked.
… A winding road speckled with gravel washed from the roadside, led through more damp forest to the wonderfully named Puké Inn, which was shut, but across the road was a general store selling Possum pies. I’m not sure if there’s a connection, but the shopkeeper explained the morality of turning a non-indigenous pest into a food source in preference to the Government policy of aerial poisoning.
… Two days later I was in Wellington and just in time to leave the bike with a shipper and make my flight home. “Leave it there fellah,” said a young chap in the shipping warehouse, and I did, wandering off to find a bus back to town without a scrap of proof I’d left it with them. I trusted everyone in this country and no-one disappointed. It really is a wonderland.
The full article by Ian Mutch featured in OVERLAND magazine Issue 1.