Day 57: A Fell Device

Published: January 28th 2011
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I checked out of YHA Wellington with a sense of profound relief. Sue had been kind enough to offer me a ride to Palmerston North, so I'd cancelled my Wellington-to-Palmerston-North bus ticket. I just won't use that part of my bus pass.

Sue drove me first to an impressive overlook in the Rimutaka Hills, and then to the Fell Engine Museum. Fell Engines turned out to be small steam locomotives used to provide additional horsepower on a steep grade. The two-story museum included models of the settlements at both ends of the slope, with the higher village, of course, on the second floor.

An unusually good documentary film was shown as an introduction to the collection. It explained how the engines worked, and in particular how the trains were kept braked and in control on the downslope. Brake shoes were only good for one trip; they'd be clean worn out by the time the train was at the bottom.

After that, Sue took me to meet her mother, who lived near Masterton. I really liked her mother, who was kind and friendly and a very good cook.
She was a great gardener, and there were lovely flowers around her house, including an interesting flowering tree which Sue said was a "silk tree." I wonder if if is a type of mulberry?

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