kaaronwarren (kaaronwarren) wrote,

Before Wellington

The drive from Lake Taupo to Wellington includes a long, long stretch through volcanic wastelands that contrast vividly with the lush, green lands elsewhere. You can see Ruapehu in the distance, snow topped, enormous. The ground is black with residue and all that grows is scrub. There are signs everywhere warning you not to stop. Do not step off the road. Because this is army training area. It really was like something out of a disaster movie, but somehow beautiful, too.

We stopped at the town of Levin. We had info (from a place called The Licorice Cafe, so reliable) that there was a licorice factory here, and with the help of a very kind real estate agent, we found it.

The woman was a bit bemused by just how excited we all were. But, oh my! So many samples! And she said, "Have as many as you like!" So we did. We bought more licorice than we can eat in a decade. If you're ever near Levin, drop in to RJs.

We stopped in at the local facilities before the drive to Wellington. There was a large and rather fabulous playground here, though with the weather as nasty as it was, no kid played there. There was a coffee van, and if we hadn't had three coffees already that day would have taken pity and bought one. One car pulled up, but he sat in his car and beeped! He expected the girl in the van to get out, take his order, make it, then get out into the rain again to deliver it to him! As we pulled out into the street, he was still sitting there, waiting for service. We wondered how long he'd be willing to wait before getting out of his car or driving off without coffee.
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