Wednesday, January 21, 2009



After sleeping in, we pack up and head north along the coast road, Hwy 1 about 10:00. Our first stop is at the Moeraki Boulders, These are natural formations of concreted stone, almost perfectly round, in the surf and on the shore at Moeraki. We walk along the beach for 400 meters or so to take a look. There are many Maori legends about the boulders, but science tells us they were formed on the sea floor some sixty million years ago. Some of them have cracked and lay broken in the surf. One could probably convince a child that they are hatched dinosaur eggs.
We stop at Oamaru, a nice village with a wide central boulevard and flower baskets hanging from the store awnings. We have found this layout very typical of the smaller towns. Oamaru is interesting because it is an old harbor town with a number of nice Victorian buildings and warehouses that are still in use. We walk around a little and find a popular local café that has a good selection of take out. Armed with a picnic lunch and breakfast quiche for tomorrow, we head on up the road.

At Pukeuri we turn inland on Hwy 83. This takes us up into the mountains toward "The Lakes" and it is a beautiful drive. Not far up the road are the first of three dams producing electric power for the country. We stop at two. I don’t think I have ever been close enough to the generators that I could actually hear them hum before!. The lakes are that incredible light blue green. There are many camp sites along the lakes and for the first time we see people enjoying the area. From the looks of the sites the campers are set up for a number of days. School doesn’t start again here till Feb 2nd. Lake Pukaki, with Mt. Cook in the background, is quite a scene. This is the area of New Zealand where the last battle scene of "Lord of the Rings" was filmed. It is high valleys with flowers on the road’s edge and snow capped mountains all around. Our last stop in this gorgeous area is a little stone church on a point of land on Lake Tekapo, Church of the Good Shepard. There is large window behind the altar with a view of some of God’s best handy work, a beautiful blue lake surrounded by snow capped mountains!
We finally arrive in Christchurch around 7:00 after another 560km day. We are both glad this is the last one of those days! They have been great but long drives.

Once again, we are at a Bella Vista Motel but this time we have a two story two bedroom apartment with a full kitchen, living room, etc. It is very nice and a welcome opportunity to spread out a little. We go to Specht’s Ale House, a neighborhood pub, for dinner. The food is good and my pint of ale was first rate. The food is somewhat difficult to order off of a menu since so many of the dishes have a name with which we are familiar but the ingredients can be a little different to even a little strange. Nothing wrong with that except your taste buds get a surprise every now and then.
We are both pooped and head for bed.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to let you know that I am following your trip with interest. We hope to someday do a similar around the world trip that will take us to the wonderful places you are describing ... your plan could well serve as the basis for the one that we eventually develop.

Thanks for sharing.