Monday, October 25, 2010

Labour Day Weekend

The Labour Day weekend is akin to the Mayday Bank Holiday in the UK – the first warm weekend of spring. Nicola had entered the draw to use the Treasury’s bach in Castlepoint a couple of months ago, and had won, so the place was ours for the using.

We hired a Corolla, and picked it up from the handily-placed Budget rent-a-car place just down Ghuznee Street. Unlike hiring a car in the UK where you’re obliged to find all the damage, and sign a form showing the condition that you take it away in, they just handed over the keys with a cheery “fill ’er up before you bring ’er back in” and waved us off.

I drove it back up the hill, and we loaded up all our stuff to take to Castlepoint – which included bedding and heating as well as clothes etc – it is, apparently, pretty basic. Then we drove to the supermarket to pick up supplies, including water, for the weekend.

Wellington is well served by roads that come all the way into the centre of town, so we were able to hit the road and get onto State Highway 2 pretty quickly, and headed over the Rimutakas to Featherston, Carterton and Masterton, and then on to Castlepoint. SH2 starts out looking like a motorway with several lanes, but quickly reduces down to a single carriageway winding over and through the mountains, so the putative 100kph speed limit is rarely achieved. We reached Masterton after about 2 hours’ drive, and stopped off to look around and have a cup of coffee. Then we continued on to Castlepoint, a further 45 minutes’ drive to the coast.

We found the house after enquiring at the pub, as we had been given misleading directions which labelled it “No. 12” when it was in fact “No. 60”. A small difference! We unloaded and arranged our belongings, then went for a walk along the shore to see what was at the far end. A lagoon, and the place where they store all the boats that go out during the day, we found. The wind was doing interesting things with the sand over the beach, but as we didn’t have our cameras with us I can’t provide documentary evidence of this. We then decided it would be a good idea to spend our first night down at the pub/restaurant, where we had an entirely agreeable fish’n’chips and vegetarian platter, washed down with some Tui beer and white wine.

On the way back to the bach, we noticed that the almost-full moon was rising over the Pacific Ocean:

Moon over the Pacific

That was Day One of our Labour Day weekend.


  1. Very nicey. Love the moon shot. We've had a full moon here (no kiddin'?), too. Very bright. We've been having crisp, bright days, tho' it's definitely chilly.
    So how was your first night at Camp Basic ? Not damp, I hope. Did you have to light a fire after rubbing sticks together ? Did you find 4 spare balsamic vinegars in the cupboard, courtesy of previous occupants ?
    Looking forward to chapter the second.

    H x

  2. It's really strange to think of it being spring there when it's a frosty (but beautifully sunny most days) autumn here.