Hamilton – When hospitality is overwhelming
On our overland tour through Patagonia we met the New Zealander Jo and the Englishman Murray. They were just before their wedding and used the weeks before for a pre-honeymoon. From our point of view this is the perfect way to escape the stressful weeks of the preparations. Of course, not all tasks can be pushed aside, but if you decide the seating order on an 8-hour journey over unfixed roads, there will be nothing that worries you on the big day.
„Strangers are friends
who you haven´t got to know yet.“
When we told the two of our plans to visit New Zealand, there was no question for them – we should definitely spend a few days with Jo’s parents. As we were not able to appreciate the hospitality of the New Zealanders at this time, we were a bit skeptical about how serious it is to them and what their parents would say to their daughter’s invitation. In retrospect our concerns were completely unfounded, our four days with Kathryn and Peter are hardly to put into words.
It started with a message over Facebook, where we shared the arrival of our visit to Hobbiton. In response we got only the question, when they should pick us up after our tour, after all, we were not expected to hitchhike the one hour drive to Hamilton. After our tour, the two of us were waiting for the iSite car park and we went to Hamilton after a very warm welcome. Who now thinks that this was only a sleeping for 2 nights is far missing. From the moment of our getting to know the personal guest care had already begun. After a visit of the New Zealand Canoe Olympic Team and a quick snack in the house of Kathryn and Peter, we packed plenty of drinks and drove to the sunset to Ragilton. The culmination was Peter’s fish and chips dinner. He told us that he will not only bring us to the Waitomo Caves the next day, but also wait during our 6 hours tours through the fireflies‘ caves. At his decision a protest on our part could not change anything.
More about our visit to the „Waitomo Glowworm Caves“:
With the disappearance of the euphoria about our „Blackwater Rafting“ tour, we headed back to Hamilton. But the day was far from over. Kathryn had already packed blankets and food for our visit to the cricket game New Zealand against Pakistan and stood ready to leave the door. We could not imagine a lot of cricket before, because we had no touch points with the sport so far. But after a detailed briefing by Peter, we could not only follow the course of the game, but also comment on the obvious mistakes made by the referees at the right moment. At this event we also noticed how relaxed the New Zealanders are. We sat on the meadow, enjoyed the game together with the Pakistani fans and shared food and emotions. It is a great feeling to fall asleep with a satisfied smile after such a nice day.
Since we felt so comfortable with Kathryn and Peter, we extended our planned visit for another night. After having visited the „Hamilton Gardens“ with Peter we bought food for the upcoming dinner. We wanted to say thank you for the hospitality and cordial reception and cooked for them. We spent a humid evening and went to bed with a wistful feeling. The next morning, unfortunately, we said goodbye and we can say with full heart that this was very difficult for us. Rarely we have met so kind and hearty people and we are very grateful that we were allowed to get to know Kathryn and Peter!
Thank you very much both of you!
Salute from here and now,
Tina and Andi from Itchy Feet