Previous to travelling, the thought occurred to me, that I might occasionally be reminded of a certain Brit actor while touring NZ. And yes, I had even factored in that I wanted to visit a couple of Hobbit set locations etc, but boy oh boy, I am reminded of Armitage more than I had anticipated. There was that cinema in Devonport (Auckland) where the Crucible was advertised. Another screening of the Crucible is set for Taupo, where I winked at Proctor in the cinema’s window this morning.
Tonight I am writing to you from the Chateau Hotel in Whakapapa Village on the slopes of Mt Ruapehu – a splendid old-style hotel which is quiet an alien starship in this stark, rough landscape. Some of the area was filmed for both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, and the cute little map provided by the hotel informs me that cast and crew apparently stayed in the Chateau. I doubt my regular double bedroom was used by Mr Armitage, but well, he has left his mark here, too:
Ok, I jest – that’s the closest I have come to him here in Whakapapa, but well, it certainly was enough to make me chuckle. I am raising my glass of Pinot Noir to him right now. I have treated myself to a glass of Devils Staircase, New Zealand Pinot Noir, and the rich, soft, fruity grape is a beautiful antidote to the view of the deserted landscape from my table in the lounge right now… Thorin approves.
Tomorrow we are finally getting to do a little hike to the Taranaki Falls – and then we’ll move on further down South. The wild is calling…
Kia Ora from NZ,