New Plymouth, Pi Day (Day 8)

Okay, in honour of my friend Werner Einstein Pries, I must mention that it is “Pi Day” today — i.e. 3.14, the 14th of March, or π if you’re into mathematics. My guess is that right about now Werner is tuning up his Pre-Calculus class and getting them ready for another big mid-term — and he probably baked a “pie” for those students who come in for extra help.

No pie for the Nikkels here in New Plymouth today, although we DID each get a packet of cookies from the maid who cleaned our room today. (Maybe she was a math geek, too!) Once again, it was a cool and cloudy day here on the west coast of New Zealand. After breakfast we went to the golf course. No, we did NOT go golfing! We WALKED along the coastal walk pathway all the way out to the golf course. And back. And in spite of the temperature, we couldn’t help but stop and watch a group of surfers enjoying the big waves on the Tasman Sea.

Once we got back into town, in spite of the fact that it was already after 12 noon and high time for lunch, we stopped at the i-Site (tourist info) centre. The nice lady behind the counter talked us out of going to the big mountain, Mount Taranaki, which we haven’t seen now for 7 days on account of the cloudy skies. No, she said, there will be gale force winds up there and it’s not nice at all, and the view will be no view, and you should rather go to one of the lovely public gardens in this area, that’s what you should do on a misty cloudy, cool day like today. And while you’re here, why not check out the very fine museum in the adjacent building — it’s free!

Big shark hanging from the rafters at the museum.

So we did. Even sat through a ‘film’ presentation in a very cool little theatre in the museum and learned about some bird that New Zealanders are all ga-ga about saving from extinction. New Zealand museums are about bugs and fossils and earthquakes and war — I guess they love their geography and don’t want to forget about how the went to the other side of the world to help the ‘mother country’ fight for freedom in the world wars. And by now I was getting VERY hungry.

Sue made lunch and we read a bit. Then we walked a few blocks to the movie theatre to see the 3:15 showing of “Silence”, the Martin Scorsese movie about Jesuits in Japan which only had one academy award nomination (for cinematography). The movie was good and long. And long and good. When we exited the theatre many of the stores along the main street were closed. We stopped by a noodle shop and picked up some Chinese take-out to take to our motel room. 

By 8 o’clock the door was locked, the curtains drawn, and Sue was in her night shirt, ready for bed. The wind was howling outside. Hopefully we FINALLY get a nicer day tomorrow. We’ve been here in New Plymouth for a week now, and while we’ve enjoyed getting to know the area, we sure haven’t had the good weather we’ve become accustomed to here in New Zealand this winter.