New Zealand post 15: A FAIRLIE FORGETTABLE DAY
Digging deep for blog fodder today. Nothing much has come our way. The sun is out and wind from behind. A more pleasant day’d be hard to find.
Except, that is, for the incessant traffic, and we are supposedly on the quiet backroad! The roadkill is next level. There are even no less than 5 kangaroo carcasses amongst the carnage- first time I’ve ever seen one in the flesh, so to speak ( thought they were found in Australia??) We ride passed a semi-squashed rabbit, just as a car and caravan comes by at speed – spllllatch! Euuuuughh! Rabbit blood and guts fly in all directions, including into my face! Thank God for my sunglasses!! I wobble to a halt and frantically squirt off with my water bottle. Lucky my mouth was closed!
Then I see something that gladdens my heart and takes my mind off rabbit splatch – a free range pig farm, with cute little pig pens scattered about and happy pigs and piglets rooting around, free as can be. The astonishing thing is that there is absolutely no smell whatsoever. Not even a farmyard odour. I breath in deep and can’t detect a whiff.This amazes me, as I detest the smell of large scale commercial piggeries, which can be detected from a mile away. It’s a very specific, very vile smell!! Ever since 1987, when Steve & I hitch hiked around Europe and were taken home for the night by our lift and proudly escorted through the family piggery, I have had a special aversion for pig farms.
The poor creatures were cooped up in the pitch dark, in pens too small to allow movement and when the light was switched on, which signalled feeding time, a frenzy of squealing and shrieking and thrashing ensued, as hatches were opened and feed released into the pens.
I am not sure if or how I hid my horror, as our proud host explained the efficient and very modern progression from birth to the slaughter house and all the while, the smell was horrendous. It was all I could do not to retch and I have never forgotten it. Just goes to show that pigs get a bad rap. It’s not they that pong, it’s their situation that stinks.
The rare sunny weather allows us to enjoy a roadside picnic and there’s not a midge in sight. We revel in the simple pleasure, then re-join the endless train of trucks, RVs, cars and caravans until we find ourselves I Fairlie, where we bag the last cabin in the campsite. Holiday time is hotting up and we are likely to run into availability issues from now on. Might be forced to use the tent…