The third and final day of this holiday weekend found me driving over the Rimutaka Hill with a friend for lunch at yet another friend’s house. What a social butterfly I am becoming!
The sun was shining brightly when we left but before we reached the Hill the weather became overcast and really looked as if it would rain.
The Rimutakas Range is one of several mountain ranges in the North Island of New Zealand that form a ridge running parallel with the east coast between East Cape and Wellington. The narrow and winding State Highway 2 crosses the ridge from the Hutt Valley** to Featherston. At the summit is a lookout point where there was a cafe, but after disputes over toilets and land ownership between the Greater Wellington Regional Council and a series of tenants the building sat empty and was severely damaged by fire in April 2009 and later was demolished.
So we wound our way over The Hill with the steep drop on our left (our driving side) and as always we were glad to reach the summit and to know we are on the way down. The steep drop is still there on our left but somehow going downhill is not as scary. Of course, the same thing happens on the way home but this time the drop is someone else’s problem.
Our destination was Greytown, best known for its collection of beautifully restored Victorian buildings and boutique shops, one of the most complete collections in the entire country. The main street lined with trees and impressive examples of colonial architecture is also home to a wide selection of cafes and restaurants. For those in the mood to shop, the quirky local stores and designer boutiques feature everything from jewellery to gourmet chocolates and antiques.
And then to the house.
Another day, another pool, another lunch. Of course, my friend, the owner of the house, greeted us warmly and as always, made us feel very welcome. This friend established a bed and breakfast operation in the house when her husband died very suddenly several years ago. Westwood is a boutique, thriving operation.
Lunch was a beautiful smoked chicken salad eaten beside the pool, complemented with a bottle of Moet provided by the friend who accompanied me today. And as I wasn’t driving, I had a glass or two.
How lucky I am to have the opportunity to visit friends and family who live quite close but in different parts of the Wellington Region.
“Friendship is a rainbow between two hearts”
Judith Baxter, Mother, Blogger, Friend
** Note – The Hutt Valley is where I used to live with The Architect. It’s approximately 37km NE of Wellington City.
Note – The Hutt Valley was where I used to live with The Architect.