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.
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.
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.
|Public Bar - what a place to relax in after a day's work!|
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!