Grande Tour Journals
Hello Sarah, I endorse your editorial statement; Welcome Back Allan Dick. It was a delight to read and reread, in issue 56 of NZTODAY, Allan’s journal on The Grande Tour of the South Island. Written in his inimitable journalistic style. The very foundation of NZTODAY.
Over a number of years, my wife and I have explored the South Island (and indeed Stewart Island) from north to south and east to west, including the high back-country down to the east and west coasts, via 4WD, tramping, kayaking and cycling, small plane and train. During and after each trip to the North Island and back I write up a detailed Journal covering our daily travels, people met on the way, pertinent historic events and features past. I find a journal a greater aide de memoir than the extensive photographs we all take today.
With the exception of the sandfly plagued Lake Haunoko and Crampton’s Bush park, we have been to all the places written about and photographed by Allan and the Navigator on their Grande Tour, even including the schist tors on Old Man Range. Reading Allan’s Journal, covering only a few of the South Island gems, again reactivates the precious memories past.
I can readily identify with the Dick’s dietary supplements. Whilst in camp strong Nescafé coffee & milk (sweetened condensed), which comes in cans and also convenient weka proof tubes, can even be taken by spoon when water is scarce. The café fare whilst on the road consists of the “Southern Man’s” delicacies of cheese rolls, mutton pies and cream buns. All are, of course, dietary essentials to balance the camping staple of boiled spuds. Thanks Allan for a great road trip. Kind regards, Graeme Pearce Waitoki Northland. ED. Dear Graeme, thank you for your letter and I agree about the journal. An old flame of mine only wrote a journal when he visited Paris, deliberately leaving his camera at home. Re-reading the journal many years later, he says, brings him far more vivid memories than photos. As you say, words are a wonderful “aide de memoir”.