Monday, February 2, 2015

Drive Home

It was time to drive back to Christchurch, but I was so looking forward to stopping at that Cromwell fruit stand again, I had two bad dreams that I had accidentally driven right past it. There were several tour buses stopped this time so we had to fight the crowds (many of whom were snapping photos of the fruit like they had never seen it before). But I had my fill: raspberries, peaches, apricots, nectarines, plums, and cherries. D got some manuka honey, too. Some of the fruit I bought to give away as gifts to our neighbors who watered our plants and other friends. But the rest was for me! (D is picky and doesn't like most fruit -- I know, crazy.)

We drove by a Lord of the Rings location: the largest battle scene of the films (The Battle of the Pelennor Fields) was filmed in the plains near the town of Twizel.
At Lake Pukaki, I fed the ducks. One of them was catching the dropping bread in its beak before it hit the ground. That was a cool duck. 

The real highlight was a rest stop just a little ways further at Lake Tekapo, with awesome views of Aoraki Mt. Cook and the surrounding snow-covered peaks. If the pictures look kinda fake, that's because it looked fake in real life too -- there was a surreal shimmer to the scenery. The water's color comes from ground glacial rock. There's a famous Church of the Good Shepherd with a killer view at another part of the lake.

A little while later, the beautiful warmth and sunny skies turned to dreary, rainy ones which continued all the way until we picked up our cat and went home. Unfortunately, he had to go the vet while we were away because he got something in his eye and it closed shut, but it had already cleared up with some ointment. We had to give him another few applications, and he fought us all the way. Nobody likes having stuff put in their eye!

Everyone said the temperatures had been roasting all week, but now they had turned cold enough for me to turn on the heating blankets. One thing we've learned about New Zealand: you can never count on the forecast to be right, or the weather to stay consistent enough to make any solid plans involving the outdoors. I anticipated having nice picnics outside on this trip and the weather was supposed to be nice and sunny in the Queenstown area...until it decided to rain almost every day. It's what happens on the coast, but it takes some getting used to.

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