Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Now where was I? Thursday on WOW

Thursday on the Words on Wheels tour was a positively cushy day, with only one gig and a free afternoon. The gig provided the best quote of the tour.

We had arrived late into Twizel on Wednesday night, so finally got to check out the lay of the land on Thursday morning. It was, to me, an odd and bland looking town, but every local we chatted to raved about how much they loved it there, so looks must be deceptive.

We started off our day at Twizel Area School, which caters for pupils aged from five to eighteen. Our audience looked to be aged fourteen and over, and we were all amused to see they naturally segregated themselves into girls on our left and boys from our right. We had the front row slouchers and the back row gigglers, uniformed pupils, pupils who were supposedly uniformed but wearing it in intriguing ways, and the seniors in all manner of mufti.

David is big on audience participation and one of the highlights of the tour was his pulling a pupil out of the crowd in each town or school to read the same poem. An adult would read Hone Tuwhare's Rain, then David would get a student to read his anti-poem, titled I Hate Rain. It was amazing to see the various attitudes with which the anti poem was delivered, and surprising to see the universal struggle they had pronouncing the name Tuwhare.

Twizel Area School produced the best anti-poem attitude of the tour and man, I wished it had been caught on video. So genuine thanks to Jordan, our uber-blonde chick, who delivered it with edge, and when it came to struggling over the name delivered the absolutely perfect, couldn't do it if you tried, had us all falling off our chairs "Hone Tu-wha-what-ever."

We will never forget Twizel!

We couldn't be with in close proximity of a bird sanctuary and not drop by with Mr Baunias aboard, so we took a little detour to the local Department of Conservation Black Stilt breeding ground. Huge thanks to our very knowledgeable guide, and owner of the best mullet hair do seen on tour.

This also provided another great quote when someone made a comment about the bird's beaks and Steve corrected them, "They are not called beaks, they are bills." Yeah, get it right!

We got to enjoy our picture postcard perfect moment at Lake Pukaki, where Aorangi Mt Cook was on perfect display, before we headed off towards Omarama and lunch and the memorable sight of our tour minder Kathryn reenacting a childhood pony club photo on the wooden horse at the cafe. That's what happens to minders after a few days of trying to keep a bus load of writers under control.

We had one more tiki-tour on Steve's insistence to see the Clay Cliffs. They were worth the detour, even if we thought we'd lost Steve and Anna for a while when they decided to go play explorers in a wild west movie.

After a cruisy day and lots of playing tourist we were grateful to rock into Wanaka, find a quiet bar for a drink and the great pool competition re-match - the guys won this time, dammit. We then got to enjoy our takeaway dinner, sitting on the picture perfect lakefront, talking to the, what were those black birds with white beaks again Steve? Coots?

1 comment:

Claire Beynon said...

Sounds as though you had a marvelous time, Vanda - pih pih, Yarooh (as we are wont to say in our family). L, C