The World’s Steepest Street

Baldwin Street

Leaving the charm and beauty of Port Chalmers and the Hotere Garden Oputae behind, I now headed for the stables at Chingford Park. It had been some time since I’d seen the stables and the park itself and while I had the time, and the weather was nice, it seemed an ideal way to pass an hour or two. 

To make my journey to Chingford Park (and the stables) more interesting, I decided to divert through the student quarter of the city. There really is no better way to make you appreciate your own home than to drive through large areas of student accommodation. I drove along streets with names like Forth, St David, Harbour Terrace and Dundas. Past flats with names like 8 Mile, TAB, The Asylum, The Bird Cage and The Playground. I navigated my way through an obstacle course of microwaves, tv ’s, washing baskets and mattresses until I found myself stuck behind a campervan. Now I don’t mean to be rude, but I hate having to follow campervans. 

They’re slow, the drivers always seem confused between left and right, they stop randomly and always look like they’re going to topple over. On this occasion, it seemed that the campervan and it’s occupants were heading for the same location as myself. Whereas my intention was to travel the near 3km to get to Chingford Park (and hopefully Baldwin Street) sometime in the 20 years, the campervan wasn’t. 

Sometime later, much later, having survived a one way system and having given up all hope of ever getting to my destination at one point, I took the time to wonder about some of life’s mysteries. For instance how people in this country are allowed behind steering wheels when the meaning of red and green traffic lights so obviously confuses them. At some point, and I’m not sure when, I became interested in the exact destination of the leader of what was now a slow moving convoy along North Road. You can imagine my surprise and terror when, having reached the corner of Baldwin Street, the campervan successfully made a right turn and began heading along what is once again, and correctly named, the World’s Steepest Street. 

Intrigued by what might happen next, I pulled over and watched in disappointment (and relief) that in the space of 50 metres, the driver had decided that ascending Baldwin Street in a Trail Lite campervan wasn’t such a great idea after all.

With the procession of vehicles having cleared, the campervan and it’s occupants attempting an 18 point turn that consisted of some very strange finger pointing, I left Baldwin Street for Chingford Park.

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2 thoughts on “The World’s Steepest Street”

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