Personally I think there's no more demanding audience than fellow tourguides - everyone's always correcting everybody else, and it's often difficult to get a story out over the din of people joining in! Oh, and did I mention I was being filmed for our training DVD? Gooood fun!
(From left to right) Tony, Tim, Phil, Steve, Andrea, Todd, and me. Missing (taking the photo) is Bryn.
It was a fun morning at the Kaitoke Regional Park ("Rivendell") though - I took the group through the location in much the same way as I would on a normal day. There were some new stories to tell, and a few to correct as we've heard new information from more reputable sources, or someone's stumbled across a new photo that disputes earlier tellings of the same stories.
One location in the area was used for a famous Orlando Bloom's publicity photo, and if you came on a tour here in Wellington, chances are you have a very similar photo of yourself in that very spot.
We had actually stopped taking people up to the tree, as the tree was showing signs of damage from the thousands of people (however carefully) standing on its roots. Steve (the local forest ranger) had requested some months ago to give the tree a little rest, which we'd all been adhering to.
However, I was talking to Steve a few weeks ago, and he was planning on doing some renovating to the area, redefine the paths, and put up a small platform for people to stand on while they took the same photo. It looks like that's become more than planning since my last conversation with him, as the platform has just appeared!
This photo shows the platform in the centre, a short path leading up to it on the left, and the "Legolas Tree" on the right.
Compare the tree with this publicity shot of Orlando at the exact same location (photo by Pierre Vinet, (c) New Line Cinema).
Now that the platform has been put into place, the tree should be fine again, and all the Legolas fans can have their favourite photo taken again.
- Jack M.