The spookiest thing happened today. Tom, the hostel manager, turned up with the old Visitors Books from the hostel, and we found our original comment in the book from February 1994. That in itself would have been fantastic (hey, I got it right when I said “the night in the huts will be a memory for sure!”, because that’s what made us come back, even though we’re now in the farmhouse, rather than one of the corrugated and wood garden sheds), but what made it spooky, and hilarious, was the photo of us signing it. I’d completely forgotten that we’d had our photo taken, so it was a bit of shock to see our faces staring out of the pages, ten years on.
The conclusion was that Sarah hadn’t really aged, and I had – well, let me put into words that everybody else was too polite to say, I’m fatter. Last time we travelled I’d lost four stones by the time we arrived in New Zealand (oh yeah, I was really fat when we left England!), and that meant that we were a lot fitter – when we stayed here we strolled up to the Lookout point up the hill with ease, which is definitely not an easy walk. This time, with so much use of cars, and the girls’ limited walking ability, we haven’t had the same regime, and the result is we feel less fit, and fatter.
Fortunately, we don’t have to walk up the hillside to get fantastic views – the view from the deck is pretty impressive too – when you’re sitting here eating pasta and Dolmio sauce it tastes pretty terrific! We only planned to stay for two nights, because we’re on a pretty tight schedule here in New Zealand, but decided to stay an extra night because its so relaxing. But we must leave eventually, and when we do we know that there will be tears from the girls. Some hostels work like that – the minute you walk in the door, you feel instantly at home. Yesterday somebody baked muffins for everybody in the hostel, today we baked scones (and old New Zealand habit of ours), tomorrow I’m sure somebody will bake a cake!