Day 3: Riverton

Wed 25 January 2017

It poured with rain and the wind howled all night. How comforting to be tucked up in a warm bed and not be saturated in a tent. I spared a thought for those out on the trail and hoped that they are warm and dry. I could hear water dripping as if into a bucket, which in the morning I thought was most likely the cause of the very rotten window frame. This morning I would be meeting the local St John member who I had met by chance on the street last night. Anne-Marie is the Manager of the Riverton St John Station and the only full time paramedic. There is a volunteer brigade of 10. She has been involved with St John for 24yrs and is also actively involved with the coast guard. There are inspirational people across the country such as Anne-Marie who tirelessly devote their time and commitment to the community through St John. They make me truly humbled to be supporting such a worthy cause.  I thoroughly enjoyed spending time with Anne-Marie, her vitality and dedication is inspiring and energising.

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The wind has been howling all day. At one time this morning there was horizontal hail..!   I am happy to be taking it safe rather than potentially putting my life at risk on the mountains where I’m headed. Despite this I found myself looking out to the hills and wanting to get underway. I thought maybe I could get further along this afternoon,  but further gusts of rain driven at 60km kept me sensible and diverted my attention to the local surrounds instead.

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The Post Masters Cafe sign promised that their custard square is beyond compare. Who wouldn’t be tempted by such an invitation? They also do a delicious salmon bagel and I can vouch for their coffee too.

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In the afternoon I dropped by the Cultural Heritage Museum and Visitors Centre and their interactive Te Hikoi features displays and stories about the region. There is an excellent section devoted to the lifestyle of early Maori and it was fascinating to read about the European discovery by James Cook in 1773 which was followed all too quickly by sealers and whalers. It was most engaging and I particularly enjoyed reading about the more colourful local characters.

Not sure what tomorrow will bring yet. The forecast isn’t improving until Saturday but my feet are getting itchy.

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