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  • Writer's pictureTim and Lindsey

School Boy Error and School Boy Dreams (Day 89)

If the person checking the satnav hadn’t done a school boy error, the walk to Weta Cave Workshop would have been 2km shorter and we would have arrived on time!

We had tickets for Weta Cave Workshop at 9:30am. Totally by fluke, our Airbnb was just a 10 minute walk…well, that's if Tim had changed the googlemaps from car to walk. However, due to his schoolboy error (his words) we were going to be late. We needed to run. Funny, it didn’t bother me at all, not like Sunday, it was just one of those things and we’d get there late – hey ho!

[This is another example that our experience doesn’t come from the situation, it comes from ourselves – our thinking and level of consciousness. So Sunday morning my level was definitely low and yesterday high….the great thing is by knowing that our moods are transient and change like the NZ weather we don’t need to do a thing – “it too shall pass”]

We arrived 5 minutes later than our slotted time, the girl on the counter was very sweet and radio’d through to find out that the tour had only just started so sneaked us in. Oh, what fun! It was fascinating to see the models, big and small, that have been designed and made at #WetaWorkshop props and special effects studio. Many models from The Lord of the Rings and King Kong, They have also created the special effects for The Chronicles of Narnia, Avatar, The Adventures of Tintin, Elysium, The Hobbit, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Godzilla and the list goes on.

The creativity and artwork is amazing and the staff must have such patience. It can take weeks to create facial features, adding real hair one at a time into the silicone. Our guide was great and informed us of many behind the scenes secrets. For example the chainmail for Lord of the Rings and Hobbit is made from plastic, apart from Viggo Mortensen’s who played the warrior-king Aragorn. He insisted on the real deal – metal. A method actor, he likes to really get into his character.

So much to see and experience, We met Allister Whyte, one of the model makers and he shared how he loved to create things from toilet rolls, bottle tops, anything lying around, when he was a kid and now he gets paid for doing what he loves. A schoolboy dream.

Onto the tour of #Thunderbirds Are Go. 5 times Oscar winner Sir Richard Taylor who created #WetaWorkshop with his wife Tania, loved this TV programme and managed to get the rights to it, another schoolboy dream. I also loved watching this programme as a child and also when I was 19! The tour included purpose-built sets, huge miniatures of the characters and loads of equipment what they use for the sets, including old computer motherboards, toilet rolls, bottle tops and lemon juicers…

Both Tim and I loved this – I think we were the only ones in the group who were fans of this programme and were the only ones who joined in with the tour guide 5 – 4 – 3 – 2 – 1 – #Thunderbirds are Go!

After this great experience, we walked down to Scorching Bay where we saw a creature swimming in the sea. I thought it was a Turtle, probably a seal though. A delicious meal at the Scorch O Rama, walk back up the steep hill to catch a bus into the City. We spent a few hours in #TePapaTongarewaMuseum of New Zealand – an amazing place (and another tick for our Lonely Planet’s 500 list – we didn’t realise this until the evening). 6 floors of art, stories of the people of New Zealand, geology, animals, so much to see and experience. It’s a fabulous place for all ages, very interactive. As it’s free, it’s a great place to pop in for a few hours to focus on 1 floor, otherwise, I did find it a bit overwhelming – so much to take in.

My overall take of this day is that when we find something that is innate, using our natural talents and attributes, it really is like achieving a schoolboy dream. Tim’s sister reminded us that when the boys were young, we would often talk about going off travelling when they were grown up. I had forgotten this, and now we are achieving our dreams – wonderful.

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