Tue May XVIII
Went to Taupo. Up at 6am. Boring 5hr bus journey. Met by Dads Auntie Shelagh and Uncle Neil. The ‘Ba
tch’ has an outside loo and there was a dead rat in there.* Went to some thermal baths
*Annotated by Mum: There was a dead mouse in it!
A ‘bach’ is basically a New Zealand holiday house and for years afterwards I had if not nightmares then anxiety dreams about this one. I’m generally a good sleeper and rarely dream, but this place gave me one of the two recurring dreams that I ever had.
The problem was that, nice though it probably was and generous though it was of Sheelagh and Neil to take us there, it clearly hadn’t been used for some time (hence the dead vermin). My bed – and possibly Kevin’s as well – was in the basement, amid all of the things which needed to be stored, alongside the boiler, but none of this stopped the dampness of the air and, particularly, the slightly damp feel of the bedding. I can believe that it was probably only damp for the first night but the only memories I have been left with of that place are of nights spent in that damp basement.
Fortunately, we went to the thermal baths, because that was something I fell in love with and a much better memory to keep with me for the rest of my life.