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The Spike or Victoria College Review 1936

Christmas Trip, 1935

page 61

Christmas Trip, 1935

Sunk deep in the barren plain formed by the eruption of the mighty peak that once was Ruapehu, the Waikato River is scarcely more than a stream as it sidles along the foothills of the Kaimanawas. Its bed is a park-like expanse of turf, rich with green English grasses, and dotted with old grey boulders half covered by the soft mosses with which Time hides its scars.

As the stream makes its way down to Lake Taupo, it crosses from one bush-covered bank to another as if uncertain where to go, and it was in a clearing in the bush that we made our camp. Below, the river ran noisily over the stones, and was then hidden from sight by a green ridge. Behind us, we knew that the mountains kept silent watch in the skies, and all around was the sad silence of the forest.

It was here that we lay basking on the sand, and dived deep into the cool river. Here, we watched the stars flash out when the darkness came, and, rolled tightly in our sleeping bags, lay close beside the water's edge to be lulled into forgetfulness by the whispering of the rapids, and the lazy nodding of the toi-toi.