Posted by: rivettingkatetaylor | January 26, 2012

a drive to the other side of the Ruahines

It’s great when work sends you driving to the other side of the island (kind of – the other side of the mountains that divide the west and east!)

From Takapau, I drive to Dannevirke and then take the back roads along the foothills (Top Grass Road for any of you keen enough to google map) to the start of the now-famous Saddle Road (okay, not so famous on a global scheme of things, but the go-to route now the Manawatu Gorge has a rather large slip all over a rather large section of the road).

I had a lovely few hours sojourn in Feilding after an unscheduled two-hour break between two interviews.  Job #2 was a visit to a new dairy conversion at Cheltenham.

After that, was the start of my problems for a quick drive home.

Added to the fact that three hours in the car on my own is a perfect recipe for a music mindmap back to the 80s (think Bon Jovi, Eurythmics, Jenny Morris and spot of Def Leppard – very cool)… it was a perfect day for summer photos too. Check these three out.

borage crop near Cheltenham

"giant marshmellows" as my kids used to call them

This colour just caught my eye (I stop on the side of the road often)


I need one of those signs that the rubbish trucks have: beware, this vehicle stops often!

So, I decided it was going to be dark before I got home if I didn’t stop stopping, so I stopped.

So my memory will have to suffice of the shot of the kids playing in a creek as I drove over the bridge; the sheep grazing peacefully on a grassy knob apparently blissfully unaware of the giant wind turbine whisking away overhead; the windswept trees under the foothills of the Ruahines.

A few years ago I was walking along a local road and came over the brow to the most awesome sight of a layer of cloud stretching out before me. But I could see the landscape both under the cloud and away over the top of the cloud. Hard to describe, but the memory has been etched, well, in my memory!

It’s late. After driving to Manawatu yesterday and the destination of choice today was Gisborne (Elton John and Jimmy Barnes most of the way today. And a new fave. True Colours by Phil Collins. Love it.)

I made the call two hours ago that Federer would beat Nadal in five sets in the semis of the Aussie Open. One set each so far but I’m afraid me and my mental little camera are going to bed.






  1. We took the detour over the hill to avoid the gorge on Wednesday.

    Stunning views but lots of big, slow vehicles. I can see why people who use the gorge often aren’t happy with the time it’s taking to reopen it.

    • I don’t think anyone’s happy with the delay – but have you seen photos of the slip? It’s not small.

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