Vacation Time with Frodo and Aragorn

         New Zealand. An island country nine hundred miles east of Australia boasts lush forest, varied topography, sharp mountain peaks, breath-taking beaches and an enormous lake nestled near one of the world’s most active super volcanoes.
I couldn’t think of a better place to start our month-long look at vacation spots, places you can use in your latest novel or short story. For me, this is a dream vacation, one that like many people started when I watched the first movie of the trilogy, “Lord of the Rings.” I was captivated by the diversity of terrain in this marvelous country and was pleasantly surprised to find there is actually a “Lord of the Rings Road Trip Guide.” You too can take the journey.
At , I found an article detailing the trip, with a disclaimer that some of the areas have been returned to their natural state. In some cases access can be limited due to the remoteness of the site. You can, however, still visit some of the impressive natural features that served as a backdrop for the filming.
The original party tree
A good place to start is Matamata, where the Bag’s End and shire scenes were filmed, then onto Taupo region to see Mordor. Wellington boasts many of the workshops and museums which helped create characters and props used in the films. The beautiful Rivendell area is nearby and also the hauntingly stunning Paths of the Dead. The town of Nelson is the place to visit for souvenirs, it being the Artisan community that provided so much of what made the movie props and costumes appear authentic.
The Queenstown area is full of the lakes, rushing rivers, and other water scenes from the trilogy. Helicopter tours of the area are recommended for a different view. Another thought would be to take the MagicBus tours, which you can stretch into a year-long vacation, spending plenty of hiking and visiting time at each spot. Wow!
Bag’s End
Time to dig out a few suitcases, a well-made backpack, and good hiking boots and head to New Zealand.
This month’s writing prompt:  Sarah’s hands trembled as she pushed through the crowded Wellington bus to embark on the first stage of her pilgrimage to discover…

5 thoughts on “Vacation Time with Frodo and Aragorn

  1. Sarah’s hands trembled as she pushed through the crowded Wellington bus to embark on the first stage of her pilgrimage to discovery. At the front of the bus, the driver was staring at her. Sarah imagined the driver was a porpoise. Then she realized he merely looked like one. “Impatience isn’t virtue,” she patronized. Stepping down from the bus, she squandered her footing and fell headlong onto the curb.Cheek on the street, she saw many feet passing. The street was splendidly busy with buckled brown boots, white slippers, children’s shoes, a spattering of knitwear, and something horrible – a pair of rather gnarly, grotesque feet. They were overly hairy, and the toenails had want for care. As she hadn’t been used to seeing such literal down-at-heel standards on feet, she imagined the worst of the rest of them.A small, silver-haired woman squealed in panic, “See here, no time for lying about.”An arthritic-looking elderly man shouted, “But don’t be bashful. Not a moment to spare. Not one.”Aghast at all this, and fairly frightened at being half under the bus, she fainted. —The world about her was hazy and dark. She remarked out loud, somewhat dreamily, what a dreadful place this was: it smelled harshly, was too warm, hadn’t enough light, needed more flowers, ought to haven’t been so rummaged, and the sort.She’d been face down on a dirty couch, and, looking about, saw those bizarre feet again. “Lordy, but I’ve spent all my time in Wellington looking at feet such as these,” she muttered.Attached to the feet were two short legs. From there sprouted a concise body, wrapped in a knit sweater and shrouded in a shawl. There, two appendages – arms, if it were true – flapped madly. “Damned gadflies.” Sarah squelched out, “Come away from the drapery foul creature, stunted troll, fiendish spook!” “Ye talkin now, what?” it said. “Save yer pluck for yer wee pilgrimage.” And this thing laughed haughtily.Another voice bellowed from an adjoining room. “Perhaps it wants to know about the door.”“Ye Kraken,” it replied. “Of course she wants to know about the door.” Then, turning to her, “Sarah, is it? Hardly a suitable name.”It now seemed this monster was simply the elderly woman from the street.“How do you know my name? And what door?”“The door, what? I’ll tell ye. It’s there –“ she pointed hastily. “Ye must go. Can’t do to be late.”“Late, for what?” Sarah asked.Another monster – the old man – raced to Sarah’s side and helped her get up. They shoved Sarah roughly beyond the couch and into a parlor. She was appalled at their discourtesy. “How do you mean?”In the shadow on the wall the old man reached his withered hand and took hold of something. Twisting, he wrenched it back. A warm, green light spilled into the parlor.Before she had a chance to share her offense, she was pushed into it, screaming.“Narnia awaits,” said the old man.

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