You may remember that a little over a year ago, we visited Whakatane and stayed with Col and Glen. They are great people, and we enjoy both their company and their conversations. Well, they returned the favour and stayed with us this past weekend. It was a great time.
Of course, we played Settlers of Catan, and Andrew won the game after more than three hours, the longest game Andrew and I have ever played. It was great fun and very challenging, with so many settlements scattered across the board.
Before, during, and after our meals together, we talked about all kinds of things, from Andrew’s work to the differences between NZ and USA to our gardens and orchard. I very much enjoy talking with people who are interesting and have suggestions or recommendations or even simply a different angle (or point of view) than my own. I don’t always LIKE hearing that kind of stuff, because it makes me have to reconsider my preconceived ideas, but I also appreciate that people don’t always agree with me just to be “kind”. (No, Col and Glen and we did not disagree on anything, but I thought I’d make this general comment.)
During the drive back home after church Sunday, we stopped at the Tararu Historic Cemetery, something that Andrew and I have been wanting to see since we first moved here. The drive up to the cemetery washed out before we moved here, and shortly after our arrival, the NZ Transport Authority spent a few months stabilising the hillside (cliff), and a few more months building stairs from the remaining drive to the cemetery. All the construction finally finished a couple months ago, but Andrew and I hadn’t previously gone up there.
There are 147 stairs from the top of the drive to the cemetery, and we were all a bit winded when we reached the top, including my quite fit husband, but only because he was trying to recover from a cold or flu or something. It rained on us while we hiked and walked around the cemetery, but mostly lightly. The cemetery is quite interesting, with graves of many of the early settlers of Thames, including gold miners and refiners and their wives and their children.
All in all, the visit with Glen and Col was wonderful, and we already are looking forward to our next visit with them, whether here or there.