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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 64


At The unearthly hour of five one morning, we scrambled out of bed to a hurried breakfast, and, after breakfast, into Robertson's coach for Taupo, with a long clay's travelling before us. The distance between Ohinemutu and Taupo is fifty-six miles, and with only one team for the entire journey, the time occupied is ten or eleven hours. Even the most interesting scenery begins to pall upon one's vision towards the close of a journey like that, and one's mind becomes oblivious to externals by reason of an internal craving for dinner and bed. But we had a pleasant day for our travelling, and the novelty of the scenery to us helped to make it really enjoyable.

Passing Whakarewarewa on the left as we came away from Ohinemutu, we travelled for some time beside Waikorowhiti (Whistling Stream), a noisy creek that rushes through the Hemo Gorge, with Moerangi (Sleeping Heavens, or Sleeping in the Heavens) towering high above us on the north-west.

Not long was it before Horo Horo (Fallen Fallen) came into view, and engaged our attention. Horo Horo pervades space. Once within its influence, the eye is always conscious of it. Turn where you will, you behold Horo Horo. Yet, at a distance, it does not look so very big. It is a long, curiously-shaped mountain; its top a level ridge; its sides steep; wooded in some places, cliff-like and gleaming white in others, where land-slips have occurred and left the naked soil. It looks narrow, viewed edgewise, yet the long summit must be a considerable piece of table land. Horo Horo has the appearance of having been dropped from Heaven, readymade, and exactly as it page 58 stands, for the land around it for some distance is all a plain. Whether its name, Fallen Fallen, was suggested by this appearance, or by its susceptibility to land-slips, one cannot say. You fail to realize its magnitude until you notice what a long time it takes to get past Horo Horo, and the prominent place it takes in every view you have of this district. Its height we never did realize, because we did not approach it near enough, but it is said to be 2,800 feet. Before we reached it, and after we passed it, we observed a stately, slender column of rock abutting from its southern end. Viewed from some points, this column presents the distinct outline of a feminine form, enveloped in a mantle. This figure is Hinemoa, as apotheosized by Maori tradition. Mr. M., a fellow-traveller with us, had an attack of verse-fever over Horo Horo. We persuaded him to write down the effect, and now, presuming still further on his good nature, we take the liberty of appending it to our own brief description of the quaint old mountain.