Absolutely Positively Walking! tours
from Bats to Mt Vic / Oriental Bay..., Wellington
10/02/2006 - 19/02/2006
Barry’s Bush Trails - Thomas La Hood
Ye Olde Horrore Tour - Jo Randerson
Combine physical exercise with a cultural experience. Shudder at the ghostly bowels of the windy city or learn how to rig a bivvy. Or do both? Bring walking shoes and a willingness to expand your horizons.
Theatre , Promenade ,
45 mins each
Stepping into nature and supernature
Review by John Smythe 30th Mar 2006
The natural and the supernatural are alive and well, or dead and unburied, and now available for you edification and entertainment within a reasonable radius of Bats theatre.
First, Barry’s Bush Trails. Mate. That Bushman Barry’s a bit of a worry.
He’s affable enough, bloody affable in fact. But when you take his trail to the afforested fringe of Mount Victoria, it’s likely to emerge as not entirely surprising that the council and cops have conspired to relieve him of his licence and rifle. Not that he’s not fully justified in being so protective of the flora and fauna he loves so dearly. The man deserves a green belt in his somewhat unique marshalling art.
To be fair, Barry (Thomas LaHood) knows his stuff, no two ways. A stroll past inner suburbia’s random plantings will never be the same once he’s awakened you to their wonders. What he doesn’t know about moss and moths, bird calls and building a bivvy, mate, could fertilise the deserted and sadly barren petanque court we ratepayers paid so much for.
As for what else lurks within the aforementioned green belt … Suffice to say Baz has got an eye and ear for what comes naturally and the odd bit of passing exotic fauna is reasonably cognisant of that too. It’s the native wild-life he tends to have difficulty with … But I’m not one to tell tales out of school. He’s in enough trouble already. Give him a go and go.
Likewise, though in a very different guise (while oddly similar in the way they speak), Ye Olde Horrore Tour is an experience that will forever change your view of what used to be a pleasant stroll around Oriental Parade and environs. The Grim – "Call me ‘Grimmy’" – Reaper (Jo Randerson) is unnervingly good company as she reveals her secrets in supernatural style.
Well you’ve got to trust that a Grim Reaper who wears a pedometer has our present health at heart. Even more than that, most of the encounters she leads us into embody a bit of a philosophical if not a spiritual dimension. So there’s grey matter to be stimulated there, as well as hearts to be jumped and pumped.
To say much more might be to dispel the efficacy of the tour. Suffice to say, given the spectra of spectres to which you’ll find yourselves privy, you’re in good hands with Grimmy, albeit pretty bony ones. And in the end the whole fatalistic experience is strangely reassuring. Go too.
There’s a lot happening out there on the natural and supernatural planes, although a sceptic might say they’re set up jobs. If so, I have to say there is an indefatigable team at work, manifesting backpackers, walkers, fauna, picnickers, residents, soothsayers, buccaneers, murder victims, black cats, spiders, crows, vampires, suicides, friendly ghosts and kitsch tangata whenua in battle.
Whichever way you look at them these separate but complementary walking tours are well worth the (not too much) effort.
Copyright © belongs to the reviewer
Thomas La Hood March 17th, 2006Both 'Barry's Bush Trails' and 'Ye Olde Horrore Tour' are returning for a short time from 23 March. Email Footsteps for more information!
Anonymous February 16th, 2006Both tours were a lot of fun. This is an entertaining way to see parts of the city. The Ye Olde Horrore Tour was a stronger performance with Grimy giving a constant amusing commentary.