Monday, May 08, 2006

Barrytown ......definitely OFF the beaten track!!!

Arrived in Barrytown aka Baz-Vegas (hahaha... that's definitely a bit of Stray sarcasm -in terms of what's available here- although it does have its own beer line!!) around 6ish tonight. Barrytown doesn't even get a mention in most guide books... its that tiny. One street, about 10 houses .. interesting little place tho! It has a rich gold mining history, and was the home of the West Coast’s last gold rush in 1879.

For the next two nights we are staying in a historic (ok, i think this just means old!) hotel/backpacker lodge in Barrytown. What a first night we had..took me back to my youth with lotsa (sorry mum!) silly drinking games and shots - yuk....we will all feel rough tomorrow!

May 9th. Yup - a tad fragile today as Yvonne and I head off to our bone carving class at "Bone Idle" great name eh!!!!....while the others are off to make their very own knives...from bits of metal and wood.. I'd seen the one Stretch had made and it was quite impressive! But we were very excited to meet up with Graham and Jimmy, the bone carving guys who changed their lives from being a chef and long distance lorry driver, to learning how to carve bone into jewellery, working roughly 4 hours a day, 2-3 days a week, 'cos they wanted a better life! Ahh - yes, i think SO! Really enjoyed this - basically you take a piece of cow shin bone (yes, a bit yukky!) and draw your chosen design on it (you pick whatever you want - i went for the spiral "Koru" design, which depicts new beginnings, growth and harmony). Once the design is set, you jigsaw it out, use the drimmel on it, then use tons of sandpaper and then varnish it!!So at the end of three hours, you have a finished traditional Maori necklace that actually turned out really quite professional looking - well, I think so! This was great fun i have to say, and i love my necklace!!

After lunch, Yvonne and I went for a walk down to the beach - massive, beautiful, lotsa stones too, and not a soul on it, well, except for 5,000 damn sand flies that attacked me, so we didn't end up staying here too long unfortunately! So much for our chilled out time on the beach! On our way back to the hostel, we met a new Stray gal pal, Stella, who had just come into town and was joining the bus that day.

The excitement was mounting as the knife folks returned - tonight was to be our "hat party", as devised by Stretch.....hmmnnn wasn't at the pub the night this activity was decided. Some folks were really getting into it, making their own creative "chapeau" styles....thank goodness for me, Stretch brought along a bunch of silly hat-like things for us to put on our heads! I decided (very last minute so don't slag me off..) to be a bag lady.. and use this old-lady handbag as my hat (yes, quite the creative i am....not!).

So we all headed into the bar for a night of fun! Got chatting to this seemingly lovely, little old man called George who turned out to be not quite so "cute" when he pinched me on the bum! Yuk - he was about 105 and busy telling me how i reminded him of his middle daughter ..steered clear of him after this little episode!

Anyway another fun night with the Stray gang...heading off tomorrow to our next adventure so its a big goodbye to the strange little town of Barrytown....its been fun but as we all joked, any more than 2 days here and you would start going just a little mad.....or had that already happened?? Oh well, bye for now!


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