Back to Christchurch
Trip Start Jan 20, 2009
17Trip End Apr 07, 2009
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Where I stayed
We retrace the drive back to Chch - stopping in fruit stands selling a variety of local NZ produce such as the hybrid plum/nectarine and nectarine/ peach. Interesting tastes but none so delicious as passionfruit and the devine ice cream it lends it's name to. In the early evening light we pay our respects at the Church of the Good Shepherd and to the shepherds and border collies who settled and farmed this Mackenzie region. The church stands at the head of the glacial aqua waters of Lake Tekapo(?) giving a view onto the lake and distant mountains that is truly heavenly. As we drive thru the dry brown hills of the Lindis Pass ,dark ominous clouds gather over the hills. We're on the edge of a huge storm -lightning in the distance, wind and what's this - hail! You can get 4 seasons in one day in NZ -any day of the week. We drive on missing the worst of the storm and Elinor does her usual great job of getting us home safely to Chch.
The next few days pass in a whirl of visiting, shopping, laundry and packing up - and of course the favourite occupation -eating. We nosh on the famous Bluff Oysters from Invercargill - floured and battered NZ style thanks to Elinor's culinary skills and Mike's buying know how. We also visit her friend Cherry - down on the farm. Colin Cherry's husband is an avid bird watcher as well as farming around 250 head of sheep and deer. He takes us out into the mud flats where we spot the wrybill ,a strange and rare NZ bird with a long beak twisted up and to one side. We also spot red necked stints, black swans and skylarks - and many more that I missed.
And so in a last embrace of hospitality I take my leave of New Zealand - truly the most beautiful country in the world. I am so grateful to have the good health to do this trip and the good friends that have made it possible. A big thanks to Elinor and Mike and family and all the great Kiwis I met along the way. Au revoir NZ and on to "the land down unda".