His father had a boat moored at Lake Taupo so we thought we might sneak away and stay on it. A diet of too many movie re-runs of "The Wooden Horse" and "The Great Escape" no doubt contributed to this rash decision.
A small white lie was told to the house masters, namely that we were going to stay with my parents in Palmerston North. It was true that this was on our itinerary but we planned a more circuitous route to get there.
Equipped with a small duffle bag each, some chocolate that we had hoarded and a grey woolen blanket we left school via the adjoining cemetery exit and resplendent in our civvies. Transport was a problem as neither of us had either a car or a license, but we hit upon the idea of hitchhiking.
The first stretch of the journey went smoothly with a slow patch between rides at Ureti in northern Taranaki. Our last ride deposited us as dusk fell at the start of the Awakino Gorge, a bleak and inhospitable section of road on the way north. With no prospect of a ride we had little choice but to climb over a short hedge into a farmer's paddock and kip down for the night under the stars.
I have never been so cold before or since and we must have verged on hypothermia. No sleep was to be had above the sound of chattering teeth and the counting of shooting stars in the firmament .
Early the next morning around dawn the coal truck on its run to Ohura passed by and gave us a lift. It was later that day that we finally arrived at the boatyard on Lake Taupo, only to discover that Rod's father's boat was no longer in the water. It was parked on 'the hard' but at least we could get the keys and make ourselves comfortable in the cabin.
Supper consisted of kura ( freshwater crayfish) that we caught from the lake and boiled up in a billy on the gas stove. A purloined bottle of milk completed the repast. It turned out to be a quick and obvious decision not to stay on in Taupo - near starvation for teenage boys is a great leveler!
The ride to Hawke's Bay across the Napier-Taupo Road proved to be uneventful which was good news as neither of us could have stomached another night under the stars.
If I recall correctly we took the railcar from Palmerston North back to New Plymouth and arrived back at school within the sanctioned period of time.
Those were the days when hitch hiking was a relatively safe and common form of travel for young men. Rod has since retired after a successful career in real estate in Taupo. I suspect though that he is not eating too many kura these days, nor sleeping under a thin blnket.