Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Chatham Island - Loving this place more each day!

This is a seriously good place to chill!

Checked out the museum yesterday - an ecclectic collection that I'm glad I saw.  All adds to my picture of this lovely place.
Since about the 12th century, the Chatham Islands were inhabited by Moriori - there is no evidence of where they came from, but they lived in peace with their unique way of settling grievences = the weapons were no stouter than a man's thumb, and the first to draw blood was the victor.  Fight over.
In the 18th century, sealers, whalers and shipwrecked seamen found the islands, and the population grew to around 2500.  Word spread to New Zealand, which resulted in 900 Maori from Taranaki with their warlike ways and cannibalism arriving by whaling ship.  The Moriori held a hui or conference to discuss how to deal with the troublesome visitors and decided not to change their peaceful ways.  However, the Maori, seeing the Moriori deep in discussion, concluded that they were about to be attacked and got in first, initiating preemptive and ongoing massacres.

Today there's a population of around 500, and I think I've waved to most of them!  The vehicles are almost all utes or 4-wheel drives, thickly coated in yellow road dust from the unsealed roads.  This must be about the most friendly place I've ever been!

Each day I walk for several hours down Waitangi Beach - reminiscent of Porangahau Beach for those who know the vast sandyness of this Southern HB beach.
Waitangi Beach is about a minute from the hotel - the waters lap right alongside, but the sandy walking part is a short walk away.
Hotel Chathams
Oh and let me tell you about the Chathams Hotel!
This place is amazing, thanks to its location and superbly chosen staff.  From the moment I arrived to be greeted by Karen the live in house manager, I have been looked after. My experiences of hotels before, has been of generalised impersonalness.  Not Hotel Chathams.  The owner, Val Croon joined me at dinner on Saturday night and asked what my goals were while I was here - had I come to see everything there was to see?  Take time out from the rat race?  Something in between?  He is doing his best to make it happen.  Mostly I just want to be here and to recharge my batteries.  And of all places on the face of God's green earth, this must be the prime place for recharging.  But there are some things I want to see.
Looking towards Waitangi from the Te One-Waitangi Road

There's a tour group in the hotel at the moment, and I can join with them on any excursions I chose.
But I really really don't want to spend every day being driven thither and yon on unsealed roads from one tourist-must-see to the next in jolly company.  Not yet on this trip, anyway.

Guest Entrance
So I chill out in this piece of heaven, where the local takeaway cooks up blue cod in its fish'n'chips as something normal, where everyone waves, where there is an awesome sense of serenity on the long sandy beach, and where the sea is only about 3 metres from the door of the hotel.

Public Bar - what a place to relax in after a day's work!
My room is very comfortable, Colleen and Irene the lovely ladies who do my housework (!luxury!) are very friendly without overstepping professionalism, and the meals - holy heck!  There's not a lot to beat panfried blue cod perfectly prepared unless it's the most tender, tasty lamb roast I think I've every eaten, or the ribeye fillet which was done exactly to my taste.....
I can't see that I'm about to lose the weight I gained over Christmas, no matter how much walking I do!

And today, today I bought a painting.  By local artist Eva Cherie Tuck.  It's fantastic.
Yep.  Loving the Chathams!


  1. So pleased you are having an awesome time! Can't wait to see your painting! xxx

  2. Oh wow! Sounds like heaven! Love the service you are receiving - be hard pushed to find that on the mainland.
    And art as well....bliss!


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