The connection is terribletongariro river; I’m not sure if this post will upload. The photos are taking about 20 minutes per image. And yet, I persist.
A sub-group of us went to a National Trout Center with a freshwater aquarium and a children’s fishing pond. It is no longer used for more than an educational center, but it has the capacity to restock the island’s (introduced) trout in the event of a volcanic eruption, tsunami, or pestilence.

The old men volunteering at the ticket counter were as lovely as old man volunteers can be. They asked after my tattoos, and said that the trout fishing on the Tongariro river was some of the best in the world, “Even better than OREGON, or so we’ve heard.” The taller man gave our group of almost all girls an extra bag of fish food, and the shorter man said, “Why do they get the extra food?” To which his coworker replied, “I didn’t realize you wanted it!” Shorty then pshawed.

Trout are an introduced species. Plants and animals get to remain in “introduced” status if they taste good. Other examples include: California Quail and blackberries. If you don’t taste good (such as agapanthus and gorse), or if you impact the population of things that taste good (such as possums and stoats) then you are invasive. We do this in our lives, too. What habits and which people are introduced vs invasive? What have you let in and then regretted and what do you tolerate because of a perceived benefit?

Day 12 photo set.

After hanging out with the fish, we took an unplanned walk down the river along an angler trail. It was a humid hot and it reminded me of summer in Oregon. The trail was lined with blackberries and morning glories. There were tall pines along the water and smooth pale rocks. For a moment, I could have been on Eagle Creek. Except that the water was the same deep turquoise and there were mythic bird calls punctuating the air.

Back in town, I bought a small selection of souvenirs for the family and some pure New Zealand wool. Enough for a fair isle, I’m confident. It’s about aran weight and in three natural colors, brown to tan. I’m envisioning a pullover, maybe with a circular yoke like my lopi. But I also have a really great pattern at home for a cardigan with toggle buttons–if the gauge is close, I may try that one.

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