Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Stewart Island part 2

There was one thing I forgot to mention about our walk yesterday which was pretty cool There is a plant over here which has very big waxy leaves but on the under side it feels almost like leather or parchment. People would actually use these as postcards when they visited Stewart or Ulva Island and the postman (charles something who lived alone on the island but had a shop) had a special postmark and stamp for them. We saw someone who had written a note on one and left it on the beach but our guide got very annoyed at that, saying the were destroying the plants.  We then came across a whole plant where someone had written their name underneath without removing the leaves and she was annoyed at that as well, called it vandalism! I can understand not wanting to remove the leaves but the thing is doing something like that almost connects you to the past in a quirky little way. Its part of the history of the islands and I don't see how a few bits of pen on a leaf left on a bush is going to do any harm. Anyway these leaves are pretty cool, I can't remember the name of the plant though.

I also got chatting to the cleaner in the hostel. She came here 10 years ago on holiday from Christchurch and has never left to (good thing to with all the quakes). She said that its good and bad that everyone knows everyone here. Bad in that their is very little privacy, everyone knows whets going on in everyone's lives. The way she put it was 'everyone knows the colour of your underpants.' But very good in that her house burnt down, her family lost absolutely everything except the clothes on their backs.  But within 2 days they had more then they ever had before. People gave them furniture, toys for the children and a place to stay. She said back in Christchurch all she would have got was 'I heard what happened, sorry' but here the whole community pulled together to support her family.

This morning was beautiful, first day that I've been here when there has been no clouds. We were supposed to go fishing but its to windy so we are going in the afternoon. I went for a walk up to observation rock which has a really nice view of Golden Bay and a few islands, including Ulva Island where I was yesterday. Then went down to the post office. Most post offices here are also Kiwibanks, a bank owned by the government and post offices and Kiwibanks are the same thing so no matter where you are there is most likely going to be a Kiwibank, even in the most remote village. However, the post office here is just a post office, there are no banks or ATMs on the island so if you want cash you have to get cash back at the supermarket. On my walk I passed the beach of Halfmoon Bay (where the wharf is and the town is centred at) Just above the beach is a lawn with a playground, giant chess set and the war memorial. Most towns have one of these and on one side it had he names of those who died in the Great War (6) and those who died in WWII (5). A total of 11 deaths in the two biggest wars ever fought, that just goes to show how small this place is!

Hopefully we'll catch some blue cod this afternoon. I can't wait, It will be the freshest fish I've ever eaten!

No comments:

Post a Comment