Last day in NZ

I’m uploading photos and such while sitting in LAX airport – what better way to spend a long layover than enjoying the photos of your trip?

Our last day, Marge and I took a walk down to the beach. Started down the Goat Track and got a little whiff os something. Something’s dead, commented Marge. Sure were! All those gazillion velellas that had come to Wellington area beaches to no good end.

Besides the interesting houses and plants, there were views of the escarpment trail we took previously.

More photos starting here: (expect a little date order confusion as I moved just a few time zones!)

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Wednesday evening and the Garden photos

Uploaded some of the garden photos from Maple Glen Garden. They start here:

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Sunset photos from tonight’s dinner at the Fisherman’s Table:

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Wednesday we went walking

We went and picked up Gingernuts at the cattery this morning. This afternoon we went for a walk to pop a couple things into the mail and to look around. I saw where Marge catches the train into town and we looked for a community garden that’s in the works. Then we walked part of the escarpment trail, purely for the views and all the plants along the way.

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Sunday, Morning Rush Hour, NZ

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We encountered not one but two mobs of sheep in our travels today. Might be the best part of the trip, LOL. Yes sheep do have the right of way but you can keep nosing through them and pretty much they clear out. Turns out that a Prius may have a slight disadvantage doing this since it makes no engine type noises to let sheep know you’re coming. There are more sheep photos and coming soon, a video.

Other new photos in the album start around here:

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Learn to enjoy every minute of your life. Be happy now. Don’t wait for something outside of yourself to make you happy in the futureThink how really precious is the time you have to spend, whether it’s at work or with your family. Every minute should be enjoyed, savored. — Earl Nightingale -1989

Beyond the Beyond

After the penguins at Oamaru, it was hard to imagine what would come next in our New Zealand adventure. The answer was Waikawa! We had a fabulous little cottage overlooking an estuary. There was another cottage and a lodge and perhaps another accommodation spot, a museum (which had a phone available for local calls), a firehouse and a lot of sheep and some cows.

So for two days we vegged and sewed and painted, went on some short walks and had a great time in our little hideaway. The view was always changing, with clouds and rain and sun and the tide. Saw some people and some birds walk across the estuary.

A brief note that en route to Waikawa we stopped at a lovely walk-in to Purakaunui Falls but we missed the Niagara Falls (of NZ).

Today we drove along the Southern Scenic Route and got within a stone’s throw of the southernmost point of New Zealand at Slope Point. We also saw petrified forest of the Jurassic Era at Curio Bay and a lighthouse. Most of that road was large gravel-covered and being widened. There’s not much out there but spectacular views and a lot of sheep!

When we turned northward, it was to find the Maple Glen garden and nursery where we spent a couple hours gawking at a most beautifully designed and maintained garden and grounds. Anything you’ve ever read about in garden design books – the beckoning vista at the end of a path, the ponds, the pockets of trees, the larger scenes which lead you onward, the small surprises which reward careful viewing – it was all there. Rhododendrons, azaleas, bluebells, narcissus, all sorts of flowers new to me, hellebores, passionflowers you name it. Everywhere birds were singing and bees were buzzing and people were enjoying the wonder of it all.

Photos to come as bandwidth permits! Here’s TeapotLand in Owaka:

Wednesday in Oamaru NZ

On the way back from our walking tour of shops with interesting things including Adventure Books, we found a bakery and, needing bread, went on in. We left with a loaf of bread and two speculaas cookies, one each with and without almonds. Gotta love a baker who is more than eager to tell you that the rye bread is 70% rye flour — my kinda bloke!

After trekking back up the hill we sat down and enjoyed some tea and the cookies. Then we were treated by some fabulous blue skies and clouds including a patch of rain which moved across the view before moving back out to sea. Best of all, while it bumped into the land we got to see a beautiful rainbow above the streams of rain.

See downtown Oamaru and more in the slideshow below:

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Monday – Akaroa and The Giant’s House

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What a thing, The Giant’s House is. How lucky the maker, Josie Martin is to have come to this place, begin a garden, find some shards of china and begin this journey. Her life and art has merged nicely. The garden is a “Garden of National Significance” and in total it’s “The happiest garden on Earth”.

Doesn’t get much better! It rained while we were there, but it was impossible not to smile at the sculptures and the carefully placed pieces of china and cup handles and everything else, the topiary bushes, the beautiful plants and flowers and even the other visitors.

Check out all the photos here

Also pretty cool was this statue of a painter, Charles Meryon, who’d been stationed on a ship here. I thought the concept of the statue was pretty amazing.

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