We had a primary school reunion for St Joseph's in Waitara this weekend, and there was time to revisit some old haunts. Strangely, the streets all seemed shorter and closer together and the hills mostly not so steep...
We had the option to go on a bus trip on Saturday morning.
After driving via Lepperton, we went to Urenui. We used to have parish picnics here when I was a child, and I have good memories of being big enough to join the others, swimming over to the mud flats and smearing my body in mud. Good fun for kids!
Back in Waitara, we drove up to the lookout on the bluff above the river. The river changed its course quite dramatically after Cyclone Bola.
I took a few walks in the afternoon, firstly down by the old wharf. The building where Sisarich's fish and chip shop was is still there. We used to buy our Friday fish there, and Paula was in my class.
I never go to Taranaki without taking a wee trip to a beach somewhere. This time the tide was full and the river was full, so the river mouth looked quite dramatic, and there was lots of driftwood tossed on the beach near the rivermouth.
Looking around the old school was interesting. We only had one classroom block in my day, but now there is quite a large array of buildings, and there is a wetland down the end of the playground.
Growing up in Waitara meant an association with Borthwicks Freezing Works for most people- but for me it was the Railways where Dad worked- though of course his job was also there because of the Works.
And there is a 'tourist' train that runs on Sundays. I caught sight of it from the Fire Station where we were having our hangi lunch. Next time I am in the area on a Sunday I will have to make sure I take this train trip!