Across the 45th Parallel

Yesterday (Monday) started out as a nice day and just got better and better. It was sunny and warm. Nevermind spring – this feels more like summer.  We got ourselves a bit packed up and ready to move. But first, we needed to see a man about a job. We headed off in the car to catch a man along the road with orchards and a packhouse. We’d spoken to him a couple of weeks ago and he’d suggested we called in. So we did. It looks like there’s not much work at the moment and what there is is up ladders. But it sounds good for the packing season – which starts late in December. We carried on into Alexandra to see the seasonal work people. They didn’t seem too overwhelmed by the opportunity to have us on their books but we registered and we’ll see what comes of it.

Back at Earnscleugh we completed our packing up and hooked up the car and headed on up the road to Cromwell. The wildflowers beside the road coming into Cromwell were amazing, especially the deep red ones. We headed straight up to Lowburn to find a spot beside Lake Dunstan. We parked up near to where we were back in February. There is a nice familiarity about being back here. After a late lunch in the sun we headed into Cromwell to see another man about another job – at a bottling factory. He’s got some work for us for next week so that’s a start.  Now we just need to find some work for the weeks before the fruit starts up. We’d rushed into Cromwell without our wallets so when we decided we wanted to buy something for tea we had to have a hunt through the car for spare change. Luckily we found enough parking money to save a trip back to Lowburn.

Back at Suzi we found that our neighbours had returned from their day in the fields. It turned out we’d already met the neighbours to our south at the Clyde Dam at the weekend, and our neighbours to the north we’d met at the Traillite Getogether last month in Christchurch. It was still a warm evening so we got our bikes saddled up and went for a spin back towards Cromwell. Between here and Lowburn there is a marker post where the road crosses the 45th parallel. I remembered how my Dad used to toot the car horn when crossing the line at Oamaru or Roaring Meg in the Kawarau. It is a significant line on our globe which maybe we don’t recognise much. It is good to be able to cycle to Lowburn without going on the road – in fact we can get from here to Cromwell on tracks. With a bit of a headwind it was nice to zoom back with the breeze and the sun at our backs.

Where we are parked is sheltered from the south so we enjoyed the evening outside in the sun. The BBQ saw the light of day for the first time this summer, and with a bit of a cleanup was ready to go. Chops and onions and mushrooms and smoke and everything – yummm. We still had time for a stroll over to Pisa Moorings, discovering that the field in between has a good crop of barley grass. We played Spot-the-New-Houses at Pisa Moorings; there are signs of things picking up a bit with several new houses completed and under construction. We came back along the road and back beside the lake we played Spot-the-Rabbit, the grass is still alive with them. It was a lovely evening in a lovely location.

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