The life of the WTMC Ruapehu Lodge custodian in summer is unfortunately one of making unending and excruciatingly stressful decisions. Especially if the twenty guests are Year 13 college students staying for a week.
It all comes about because the students have been instructed by their school teachers to do without argument exactly as told by the custodian. And additionally that as part of the school trip learning requirement they have to do all the jobs around the lodge – cooking meals for everyone, cleaning, and tidying (including making the custodian a packed lunch for the day if needed).
The result is that the custodian is under constant pressure to decide what to do with all the spare time they have: Where should they go? A long or short walk? Down in the bush or up high on the snow? Take the gondola to the Knoll Ridge Cafe for a meal and coffee? Or just lay back in the lodge with the stereo and a good book? And on and on. The possibilities are endless and can easily become just too difficult and stressful to contemplate.
When all these problems – added on top of being baked in the sun on walks the previous three days – finally do become too much to handle it is worthwhile chucking it all in and taking a day off. Just wander out the front door of the lodge and without thinking too much head wherever. Check out the video to see what can happen when you do.