Mom and I made a deliberate detour to Palmerston North in New Zealand because a couple of our best friends have purchased a house there recently.
I was given the impression that it was a farmhouse and they had sheep as pets, so I had prepped Mom for a few days of possibly no wifi and lots of manure in this obscure little city. No one I know has ever been to Palmerston North. It’s one of those places that no one goes to, not even the people who have lived here for 20 years. There was supposedly nothing there and definitely no tourism worth raving about.
Life is, as always, full of (lovely) surprises. The city centre of Palmerston North was like any ordinary small quiet city in New Zealand, but just a few minutes outside of it was acres and acres of gorgeous landscape. THIS was the view from our friends’ house. Yes, I looked at this every day, while sipping coffee or wine in their kitchen. It was fabulous living redefined.
It turned out that their house was no farm house. It was a gorgeous modern house with floor to ceiling windows, with that stunning panoramic view above, and it was perched on a hill top. I was dying of envy as they drove us into their garage and I realised that THIS was their home.
Some people spend all their lives in the dust and noise of the city. And there are those who have taken the brave step to move out of it and live in the quiet and uncomplicated rural.
They had 6 fat sheep as pets. Each cost them about NZD100 and they were their latest addition to their family, so they were timid as mice and I couldn’t get near them at all. If they haven’t become lamb chops by next year, I should be able to get real close for a shot if I come visit again. =)
There wasn’t much to do in Palmerston North. But our friend, Jenny did take us to Tararua Ranges, just 20 minutes away. Up on the hills there was the largest wind farm in New Zealand. I read that there were 140 turbines lined up on those slopes. They would catch the crazy winds in Palmerston North to generate an average annual output of 620 GWh of power. It was a spectacular sight.
We drove right up to one of the turbines and stood below it. It was pretty scary standing below those blades. They were pointed at one end and would kill me in a second if any one of them fell on me.
Standing below the blades and listening to the whoosh whoosh sounds they made as they turned was frightening. It didn’t help at all that the wind was really strong and was kind of sweeping me slightly off my feet.
We spent a few days having the most relaxing time in this small city. I had spent several years in New Zealand before and we had travelled extensively to see this country but Palmerston North was one of the few cities that we didn’t go to. So it was a nice experience to share with Mom, and to catch up with our dear old friends.
I’m sitting at the kitchen table with a glass of wine, and it’s complete darkness outside from the windows, listening to the pitter patter sounds of the rain and thinking that life has its rough edges, but it comes with lots of blessings too. =)