AN ODE TO THE HIGH ROAD And to the Shower- by Godfrey

Twas Mardy on the big ferry crossing The Cook Strait. Though the seas they were judged “Moderate”. The Vagabond Godfrey looked over the side, then lay down under a life-boat rack, easily located if by chance he died..

But the good Arahura was a sturdy ship, she laughed with the gale in her face, she climbed the swells with determined grace, on the old Arahura Godfrey felt ill, but quite safe.

He had made the journey in worse seas and slower, and he had a long bike ride ahead before bed and a shower. The storm it calmed down as they entered the Sound, ahead lay Picton Town and Queen Charlotte Drive. He would ride his pink bike over the high road, happy to be alive, for ahead was hostel and shower.

He had come a long way,  sweat and sandy feet, the feeling ill, in a little more than an hour would be a fine shower.

But Godfrey took time to enjoy the day,stopped for pie and chips halfway at a pretty wee bay. He paused to pick gorse thorns from his behind, he took it slow  where the views were nice and the switch backs wind. Down hill at last to the Linkwater  flat, straight bit, he wound his way through a herd of cows and their traces, greeting the friendly bovine faces, he did not mind.

Ah the youth Hostel, welcoming sight, Ah a shower and bunk for the night, Ah the Warden booked him in with a frown, when he said that he disliked beets, were there any beets to be found? Ah the blessed shower where hot water poured down..never a vagabond slept as soundly.

Clean and warm that night dreamed the Vagabond Godfrey…Youth Hostel Guest Books are a trove of information and humor, and sometimes whinging, in researching Godfrey’s Story I am indepted to Brenty, warden of the old Havelock Hostel, one of Godfrey’s favorite places to stay, where this poem was found in the 1983 book. He , I noted also loved the Ferry Arahura, and wrote often of the noble ship.. From Worzel


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