Monday, December 3, 2012

Short road trip to Oamaru - day 3 going home - the long way

Monday, December 3, 2012
oldbearnews editor
Got the usual morning routine done and packed and left the Motel.  Upon checking out we  mentioned how we had enjoyed our stay here and the owner being a good business person invited us back – and then threw in a cheeky comment about buying the place.  Yeah right – like  we have that kind of dough!!  (Turns out the place is indeed for sale --->
Having missed the Local Info centre twice already we headed back down  by now a very familiar path and parked the car in town and – yess found more cloth badges as well as some other items to be mailed to Europe at the info centre!!  The material shop however proofed to be a disappointment.  At the penguin colony they had some quilted cushions with the material consisting of lots of blue penguins – so naturally we thought we could get some and be creative ourselves.  Major let down – they no longer make this particular kiwiana material.  Seems it was a special one-of-run for locals only!! Ah well – you can't win them all (seems to be today’s lesson – with NZ All Blacks and their female counter parts loosing to England in a Rugby international match - bummer  )  Anyhow – the lady at the info centre was sort of right – gave us wrong instructions for a certain road to take – which we fixed by LOOKING at a paper Map (WHO says scout skills are never used in real Life????) only to find the last working quarry for Oamaru stone. We cheekily drove in and asked about tours etc and the receptionist was very friendly and allowed us to stomp around the place.  The quarry itself was interesting to view.  Thankfully it had rained the night before – so the dust level was down to a minimum.  The stone itself is nice to work with – easy to shape and certainly has been used by many buildings in the local area – especially the bigger buildings.  Next time we must 'walk' the local heritage tour and take note of all the buildings.  The workers at the quarry cut into the floor and then horizontally and then lift out the two ton blocks - and it takes them a year to lower the floor by one level. And I counted 14 rows so this particular area has been worked on for some years - and there was talk about going sideways into the hills by removing trees etc. So there is plenty of Oamaru stone left - and it is nice as block work for houses - or craft work.  The other bit was that any excess / waste gets shipped "across the hill" to a limestone factory which grinds them up and does . . . . stuff to it . . .     :)
From there is was really a no brain-er – given the ever increasing brighter sunshine – so we decided to head inland and add about 200km to the home journey – which required some arithmetic and a guestimate of another 10 litres of petrol to get us home.  More on that later.
However – the journey takes you past Lake Pukaki and Mount Cook in the distance and then on to Tekapo – which is Mamabears favourite place in the South island.  The weather ended up being glorious – sunny with no cloud and mid 20 degrees and the Lupins where lining the road and in full flower.  The road itself is taking you through the heart of the MacKenzie country and there are huge tracts being converted to dairying (Milk making) which changed parts of the landscape – it now looks a lot greener then in previous years where it was often brown and barren during the summer months! Anyhow – after a quick lunch in Oamarma (of plane gliding fame) on to our first stop – Mt Cook.  Yumm we stopped at many places and took far to many pictures!!  Far to many - this is just a small sample

Once we got to Tekapo – we noticed that we had plenty of time left so made a quick decision to walk  around the lake bed and of course take many more pictures with the Lupins and the lake and the grand vista background of snow topped mountains featuring regularly.

And lets not forget the Church of the Good Shepherd – a tiny multi-denominational shared local church – with the minster living some 50 km some other place.  This tiny church must be the most photographed church – I am sure.  But then how many churches do you know that have behind the altar a big window that looks out across the lake and towards the  snow topped Alpine mountains.  The view is so grand that it would be very easy to forget and listen to the sermons on offer, something which I understand from one of the locals happens often.  Funnily enough the Visiting priests can tell – by the dreamy look on peoples faces as they look out the window behind him!    Regular readers will remember a previous blog entry of our “other weekend" there    ( oldbearnews trip to Tekapo in January) .  Mamabear so taken by the scenery that she offered and admitted to the concept of selling our house and buying a Motor home and just tour for a full year and see all of NZ!! hmmmm that has got possibilities!!
Sadly we did have to go home and go to work the next day.  We could have easily called in sick – and booked a room some-place at Tekapo and stayed another night . . .

So we hit the road again with a pretty much boring nonstop drive home.  The only excitement was that half way to home the tank light started shining and the needle was dropping to empty alarmingly fast.  The question being would we make it home or do I need to push the car for the last 20-50 km.
In the end we arrived in Christchurch with about 3-4 litres of petrol left in the tank – good for another 28-35 km. Very nerve wrecking.

<---  The Lake out-let - looking across to the Church of the Good Shepherd 

It is as good looking as this picture suggests - and much much more grander!

The Photographer in action - taking the above picture


The colours - oh the colours!!! Fabulous to look and smell them.


More or less the view the people have when sitting in the front pew inside the church!!  Who would WANT to sit at the back then? ? ? ? ?  

 bear print

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