Oh dear me… We have got behind haven’t we! I just seem to get caught up on this blogging business and next thing I’m all behind again – a couple of weeks this time. And it gets harder to remember. Mind you, “that might be a mercy” do I hear you mutter? Look, I know Brevity is not my middle name but this is going to be briefer anyway.
Wednesday 2 December we came back from Wanaka to Val’s parkover place at Earnscleugh. We got ourselves set up and generally enjoyed the fine weather.
Thursday we made a start cleaning the car and Suzi. The blimmin’ bees had made a real mess of both vehicles at Lowburn so it was a long slow job. And hot. It was a nice hot day. We got things tidied up generally and later in the afternoon went into Alexandra to pick up Andrew and Laura who were arriving on the bus from Dunedin. Intercity have some excellent prices and I was envious – it was one of their doubledeckers. We headed back with them to Earnscleugh via the supermarket and got all of us settled into Suzi.
There was a fair bit of mucking around on Friday – that and hanging around. I got one side of the privacy room up, and later got the second side up. We debated whether it helped with cooling and whether it was hotter or colder inside. Summer is early in Earnscleugh. We went for a drive into Alex later in the afternoon – much later. We found Graveyard Gully although there was not much enthusiasm for walking. On the way back we drove up to the lookout over Alexandra and the whole basin. As lookouts go it is fairly spectacular.
Wyn and Andrew and I made it to the Alexandra market on Saturday morning. It’s mainly crafty stuff and junk – albeit interesting junk.
Sunday 6 December was cooler with a hint of rain. Wyn’s son was flying into Queenstown so we all went over to visit. We all enjoyed a coffee in the main mall with the day trying to warm up a bit. Later Wyn and Andrew and Laura and I went down to One Mile Creek and parked up for a bit and Andrew and I tried to skim some stones. The stones were useless – then I remembered I had some good skimming stones in the car so we had half a dozen each to do our best which wasn’t much god because the lake was still choppy. Does anyone else carry skimming stones in their vehicle? My best supply is in Suzi – a couple of icecream pottles full of mostly Hokitika gems – round flat and smooth. Luckily I carry an emergency supply in the car for emergencies like at One Mile Creek.
We headed back through Queenstown and on to the end of the Kelvin Heights Peninsula and a nice sheltered spot for lunch and more stone skimming and stick stoning etc. Water skiers started setting up base on the beach so we left them to it and went for a drive up Coronet Peak. Great view. Wyn and I walked up to the nearest snow, only about 100m above the base building. I carried some back down to throw at the other two – as you do. On the way back down we took the detour to the saddle over to the Skippers. The sign just past the turnoff warned that there was no turning for 6kms. Undaunted we headed on up – these sorts of signs just issue challenges to kiwi blokes in station wagons. The sign was wrong luckily – about half a kilometer up the road at the saddle there was a couple of places you could turn a bus – had you ventured that far in one. I was relieved to be able to turn the Corolla. The saddle gave us a view over into the Skippers. There were some impressive signs there warning of plague and pestilence for those who continued – we really must have a go another time. This time we headed back down the way we’d come and found an icecream shop in Arrowtown and had a stroll around as the place was shutting up at 5pm. Luckily the bakery there with the delectable apple strudels was closed already.
Back at Earnscleugh Andrew had a go at teaching me the guitar chords for Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’. Luckily Andrew is a patient teacher. He was very encouraging – telling me I should get a guitar. If I do, you can blame him J
Sunday was a big day so we rested up on Monday – doing some washing and domestic chores.
Andrew and Laura left on the bus on Tuesday morning. We all had to be up early and we made it with time to spare. It was another fine Alexandra day. We’d enjoyed having them to stay and it was sad to see them off. Once they’d gone we had a cup of coffee to regroup and then set off Christmas shopping. Luckily Alexandra is not a big place but we still managed to spend until mid-afternoon getting around the shops. Wyn made a good start with what she needed and I didn’t. After a late lunch (3pm!) we caught up with friends Les and Suzanne who had turned up from up north.
On Wednesday 9 December morning I got the sheets and towels into the old agitator washing machine and eventually got them on the line after wringing them and then spinning them. Jeez, there was a bit of an art with the old wringers. Wyn and Suzanne went for a bit of a walk which actually took them to Clyde and back. I started disassembling the walls of the privacy room – it was time to start packing up.
Thursday 10th was another sunny day. It was time to hitch up the car and head on out, bound for Wanaka. There were a few goodbyes to make and it was 11am before we finally headed up the drive and off to Clyde and the main drag to Wanaka.