Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Driving Creek Railway and Pottery

Driving Creek Railway
Terracotta Tunnel, The Track, Pete our Driver

We rode this small railway built by Barry Brickell, a well-known NZ potter and obvious engineering genius, which runs up steep grades, across two trestle bridges, along two spirals and four switchbacks, through two tunnels and finishes at the "Eyefull Tower" with extraordinary views all the way to the islands off Auckland. An amazing trip through rejuvenating native NZ bush planted by Barry and his staff. He bought the land in 1972 and began building the railroad to bring clay down from the hills to his pottery. Now, it is run as a tourist train, and the last extension was completed by Barry in 2001. The tracks and trains themselves were all built on site in a foundry. The trains run on bio-fuel made from reclaimed fish and chips oil. It's a great trip.

Afterward, we went into Coromandel to the Hauraki Gallery and met the man himself who was working the desk at his most recent gallery show. There were beautiful pieces on display by Barry and several other local potters. Too bad the ones I wanted were too big to carry home.

Lunch in a great restaurant, Umu, where Bill had the local mussel chowder (he licked his bowl), and I enjoyed fresh grilled fish on a fresh fruit and vegie salad. I licked my fingers. Perfect. This whole month has been a great trip!

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