Today we leave Dunedin for Timaru. Martha has recommended a stop off at Moeraki Boulders and who are we to disagree? I am not sure of the precise geological term for these enormous ball-shaped rocks and with limited data allowance, I can’t look it up. They appear to be huge geodes and one has cracked open. Definitely worth a stop.
We call in at a couple of Four Square supermarkets on the hunt for Hokey Pokey ice-cream, which has become a bit of an addiction. Locating the site at Timaru prove to be the most problematic so far. I have taken the precaution of drawing a sketch map. We are looking for Grassmere Street. Would you believe this was the ONE street without a visible name and we have to seek assistance from the information bureau in town. Once on site we do yet more laundry and I do some Suduko, of which I am a new convert. I am trying to pretend I don’t seem to be developing a cold. Five days of presentations when I can’t breath should be fun. Don’t panic conference organisers (if you are reading this) I will be fine!
The next day we continued our journey north along the 1, criss-crossing the railway, with the Southern Alps on our left. In an attempt to appear like I am not suffering from a streaming cold, we invested heavily in medication. The latest bulletin is that the worst is hopefully over and I should be fit for the weekend, even if I will be doing great Rudolph impressions.
Today is the day that we really did need the sat-nav. In an attempt to take the scenic route alongside Lake Ellesmere, we get hopelessly lost. We drive round Southbridge a few times, that would be a few more times that we wanted to and finally ask for help. Eventually, we escape the vortex that contains the very similar looking roads that aren’t the ones we need and find our way on to the Banks Peninsula. This is a lovely drive along twisting pathways over the hills and in to Akaroa. We take a quick look round the town before finding our site, which overlooks the bay. Yet more rainbows are in evidence.
We can tell that we are near our journey’s end. The gas has run out and it isn’t worth purchasing a refill, so we use the site kitchen for our cooking. We are also finishing up the oddments of food that we have in the cupboard. It is like one of those cookery competitions – and what can you create from an onion, chilli powder, chocolate chip cookies and marmalade? An email arrives to say our wildlife cruise tomorrow has been cancelled but that they hope the predicted strong winds will abate in time for us to go in the afternoon instead. This trip has allegedly been voted ‘the best wildlife experience in New Zealand’. It will need to be pretty special to beat the Monarch one but hopefully we shall find out. It is also another of the 101 ‘must do’ activities, so that will be another crossed off the list. Hang on, I don’t actually have the list, who knows how many we may have inadvertently accomplished? The list does seem to be somewhat arbitrary. For example, Akaroa itself is one and the nature cruise is another, two for the price of one.