The Big Trip – Day 11

Mostly listening to: sam’s town (the killers), neil diamond (not sure where it came from…)
Sleeping in/on: the firestation backpackers – gore (what a name for a town), on a lovely double bed in my own wee room. All very civilised
KMs: 2400
Coffees: two
Weather: sunny then cloudy
Company name of the day: beyond the fringe – hairdressers
Beard up date: itchy, could swear I saw it twitch this morning…

Woke up on a boat. I thought it was kind of cool. Morsies didn’t get to wake on the boat cause she never slept.

Spent the morning marvelling at milford sound (again) this time it was a bit damper with more waterfalls. Couldn’t turn round for waterfalls in fact. Stunning place.

Made a dash from the boat to the car to avoid the sand flies. Few casualties along the way.

Spent the morning driving back the 2 hr road to the nearest town. Managed to take 5 hours with stops every ten minutes to take photos and short walks while ruth slept in the back of the car – luxury all the way eh?

In the end we drove half way across the south island towards dunedin. In the end, we stopped in gore.

The lonely planet doesn’t have much to say about gore. Which is a bad start. It’s motto is ‘the country music capital of NZ’. Also renowned for it’s line dancing. Also famous for the 10m statue of a trout as the centrepiece – apparently the capital of NZ brown trout fishing too.

In places like this, your expectations are pretty low to begin with, so anything you find is a bonus. ‘oh look a pubic toilet, fancy that, get a photo of me beside it.’

The backpackers we’re staying in is perfectly pleasant. Though it’s for sale and we’re almost the only ones here. There’s one other foreign (by which I mean non-english speaking. I still know i’m a foreigner, I just forget) girl who arrived and seemed to cry when she couldn’t understand the questions the owner was asking her. Felt kind of bad about that, so we hid in the room and then snuck out before she saw us.

Gore is just a single street of about a few hundred metres of shops. We walked the strip, seeing all the sights (yes including the trout) in about 10 minutes. We turned and walked it back again debating the all important ‘where will we eat tonight?’ question. Found a cinema (a flippin cinema and a trout, such bounty…) still showing casino royale so we planned for it at 8.30. We only had two hours to kill. I’m not a violent man, but given a gun i’d gladly have killed them.

We settled on the clean and tidy looking thai restraunt. It was playing, naturally – country music. And it was a cd (including ‘don’t break my heart, my achy-brakey heart’) on a 15 minute loop. There was the usual disturbing photo of a Thai royal family above the counter. Though i’m not sure the thai royal family are still in place since september…

I ordered the starter of ‘battered seafood platter’ and the ‘salt and pepper squid’ for the main. The kind young waitress came back and said there was no squid, but she would substitute prawns.

The starter (remember battered seafood platter) was made up of battered prawns and battered mushrooms and brocolli – those well known sea foods. Anyway it was perfectly pleasant.

My main arrived. It appeared to be a very slightly larger version of precisely what i’d just had. Except with a sprig of salad on top. My heart sank. I confess I couldn’t finish it. I can still (and will for some time) see  the little tails of those battered prawns staring at me.

Having dragged out the prawn fest as long as we could, and even throwing in a walk round ‘the warehouse’, it was still ony 7.30. Entertianment options in gore on a thursday exhausted, we retired to the hostel.

Si and ruth entertained me with some pre-prepared line dancing moves, to the tune of weezer’s buddy holly. It makes me laugh that they dance in the house at home  by themselves. Never in public of course. Spending so much time with them has given me lots of positive and negative views on marriage (the silly dances being of course a positive). Though that was pretty much where I started on marriage so I don’t know if it’s changed much. Just reinforced a lot of what I thought already – Amazed how two human beings can ever put up with each others crazy bits.

Dancing over we hit the cinema. I won the ‘guess how many people would be in the cinema with us?’ question with a bang on 3.

Left at near 11pm and the place was so empty that I felt obliged to turn off all the lights and lock up, and I don’t just mean the cinema…

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February 2007

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