I didn’t really intend to do anything special in Palmerston North, I had a place to stay and the weather forecast was bad with the he remnants of another tropical cyclone hitting the North Island. Sarah was renting a room in a house owned by an irishman, Tony from Letterkenny (but who left for New Zealand thirty-two years ago). I was welcome to stay there for a few days with Julien. The city itself doesn’t have much to offer in terms of tourism, but has a large university. I found it rather strange being in a home for the first time in three months, among people living their day-to-day life, but it was comfort I was grateful to have. Tony is a music lover and has an interesting CD collection, including an album by Tadhg Mac Dhonnagáin who happens to be my godfather! He owns all sorts of musical instruments: guitars, an upright piano and an acoustic bass I could play around with.
I wasn’t up to much apart from planning my last few weeks of travelling :'(, resting, cooking nice meals and listening to Tony’s CDs. Sarah brought me to the University’s climbing gym and on Friday we went for drinks with her friends.
Later that evening, we drove out to the country to see some glowworms. They ate large who “glow” a white-blue light to attract their prey and live in dark and humid places (caves for instance). We had to walk up a stream for about ten minutes (tricky business in the dark) to reach the place we could see them. Yes, we like crossing bodies of water by night 😉
The worms form a beautiful constellation of bright spots on the steep overhanging edges of the stream. They are also wonderful to observe up close: they have these sticky filaments hanging below them to trap whatever they managed to lure in with their glow. We didn’t stay too long though, it was already past midnight and the drive back was about forty minutes, this is latest I have ever been to bed since I started travelling!
The next day I got a bus to New Plymouth, a city on the east coast close to Mt Egmont, for my next multiday hike.