Day 6, Today was Republic Day here in Whangamomona which is now celebrated Bi-annually. It’s now run as a fund raiser for the local community board and the school.
It all came about years ago when the locals were not happy with the way New Zealand was heading and decided to break away and become a republic. What started out as a serious gesture has now become a fun day out with many thousands of visitors flocking to the event. You have to purchase a passport to enter the town and have it stamped when ever you cross a border crossing.
Basically it’s a look at life in a rural town. Activities like sheep dog trialling, sheep races, whip cracking, wood carving by chainsaw, possum skinning, wood chopping competition, metal work at the Blacksmith forge and the Gut Buster marathon were just part of the days entertainment. The Gut Buster was about 2-3km run from the pub to the top of the hill and back. It was more like an Iron Man run than a marathon but about 40 contestants of all ages and sex took part. Bare feet or gum boots, it didn’t matter, the steep climb up the hill had them all scrambling on their hands and feet to reach the top before the hair raising run down the other side with a few tumbles.
There were many food stalls and hand made articles for sale from leather to wood or metal, even puppies or kid goats. Competitions like counting Eels in a tank or guess the weight of a newly shorn fleece. If all this was too much there was always the pub to retreat into.
We retreated back to camp at lunchtime as the temperature was rising and hit about 310C . Reports of the tar on the road melting which would have made it quite uncomfortable walking around town.
Tomorrow its on to Taumarunui.