February 2, 2018 - Northland
The longest footbridge in the Southern Hemisphere - 395m! I'm not sure if that is true, but I don't care either. It' definitely a beautiful one and it's fun to cross the lake on it.
The bridge was completed in 1947 with local timber and labour. It was a new and more comfortable way for school children of Whananaki South to get to the school in Whananaki North. Before the bridge had been erected, the school teacher rowed the children back and forth. I don't know if there was only one teacher at the school hence 'the teacher'. What a great exercise though. The school still exists, btw.
And of course I couldn't cross the bridge without meeting at least one person and have a chat with him. In this case it was a couple from Queensland, Australia. We met twice, once on my way to the south side and once on my way back to the north of the lake. That's when we stopped at a little bay so people could pass. We had a lovely chat and the couple told me they had been to Germany and Europe in general several times. The husband then asked me why so many Germans came to New Zealand when we have everything New Zealand has so close by. We have Bavaria, there's Norway with the fjords, there're the Alps. I told him for me it was the combination of all of that and the English language. I just love the English language. And now I love the New Zealand accent on top of that. And the Maori culture and language. Not that I speak it or understand it (not yet). But I love it.
Talking about Te Reo, the Maori language. I saw a little language book at a shop that teaches you Maori on a fast track. I flipped though it and didn't buy it. It had different every day situations in it. It was English sentences translated into Maori. I saw two entries and decided not to buy it:
a) When at an AA meeting.
b) Only two teacher's sentences: 'Sit down' and 'Be quiet'.
I saw this book in a shop that sold Hundertwasser memorabilia. I was driving through Kawakawa and they advertised the Hundertwasser toilet. I was wondering why a town in the north of New Zealand would not only have a Hundertwasser toilet but several houses with a Hundertwasser design. So I stopped, took some pictures and ten asked the lady in the shop why Hundertwasser. Wasn't he Austrian? Ha, born in Austria but he later moved to New Zealand and became a kiwi! He lived in Kawakawa for many years. The things I learn on this trip!