Dunedin, New Zealand, my city - my people

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Holidays continue...

You can see the size of these rocks compared to the people walking by.

Cute Edith gets a ride on Dad's back.

Avalanche Creek falls behind Arthur's pass chapel.

We didn't have a gun but we check the binoculars for deer among the foothills of the Southern Alps.

Beech Tree forests are beautiful to walk through.

The house we rented with my favourite car.

Picture postcard creek- beautiful country.

Beautiful Country...
We went from Christchurch to Castle Hill, near Arthur's Pass, in Canterbury, NZ.  Arthur's Pass is one of the routes through the South Island's Southern Alps. There are big mountains, and mountains and big hills all around. My oldest son, his wife and our grand daughter stayed at Castle Hill Village for three nights. My son and I had planned to tramp up Avalanche Peak, a 1830 metre steep hill beside Arthur's Pass village.  We intended to walk it on Tuesday, but the weather was really bad with rain, low cloud and new snow falling on the tops. We visited Arthur's Pass and checked the weather forecast for the next day. It seemed to be a worse prediction so we gave up all hope of doing the climb. As it turned out the weather on Wednesday was good, though a bit unpredictable. It would have been unsafe to tackle Avalanche Peak. On Tuesday I took off in the drizzle along a track and just kept walking for over an hour, then turned around and walked back.  The weather during my walk was changeable. I got wet, there was a cold wind stinging my cheek, but then I got hot from the exertion. When I got home I was asked how it was? My answer, "It was magic!" It was just so good stretching myself physically in the midst of open country with some awesome scenery all around. On Wednesday the whole family went to look at the amazing Castle Hill rocks. They are large limestone rock formations with some shallow caves which provided shelter for Maori when they travelled around the area a few centuries ago. In the afternoon my son and I took off on a track.  We did our typical gallop. The time for the walk was stated as two and a half hours. We finished it and more in one hour fifty five minutes. It seems to be that when we walk together we go fast. My son then jumped on his mountain bike and rode it. Again it was so good to be able to take the time to walk in such tremendous scenery.
But work won't go away...
We were in an area where our cell phones would not work and we had no internet so work could not intrude. We drove to Arthur's Pass on Tuesday and when we came close to the village and cellphone reception my cell phone buzzed with a missed work call. You immediately start stewing. Tonight I caught up on phone messages left at home and the office and emails sent in the last three days. Work issues needing responses intrude. I have at least ten days holiday left. Maybe I should go to the back blocks again out of range and really unavailable? 
Love my car... I love driving.
I have a 1991 Nissan Bluebird hatchback I call "Wicked Wanda". I bought it a number of years ago for $1300. It drives so well and I enjoy taking it on a trip. I wondered about this holiday because it is getting old with a high milage, but because there were three of us with luggage traveling to the wedding in Christchurch, I decided it would be more comfortable. Once again she is performing beautifully, has real power when you need it and is a joy to drive. I know she's only a car, but I do love Wanda. 
There is something liberating about driving on the open road. There is something liberating about walking in bush, across open tussock land and among big hills. You leave your worries behind and just soak in creation, space and movement.

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