Well the weather wasn’t quite as predicted, after roasting on Christmas Day it was cloudy with showers for the next three days, not that it matters a jot to us, it’s just a shame for all the people whose summer holiday started on Boxing Day! We had already decided not to leave the house on Boxing Day for fear of getting trampled in the holiday rush! So apart from food shopping we finally went out again on 29th.
|Boarding the jet boat|
We followed some of John’s suggestions and headed towards Methven via the Rakaia Gorge. Once at the Gorge we had a jet boat ride up river and walked back! Jet boats seem very popular here, they are well suited to the very shallow (but at times hugely wide) rivers as they can travel on nothing. They can also turn on a sixpence and are very manoeuvrable! Our driver played to his audience, which was us, and a family with three young children so he was very restrained, only doing slow spins, and warning us before hand, he still managed to apparently drive straight at rocks and make me squeak though.
|Driving very fast, straight at a rock!|
|Our dropping off point, on the gravel!|
|Speeding off after dropping us at the track start|
|The upper gorge from the footpath|
It was a very pleasant walk, not long and as usual we smashed book time, the river really was an amazing colour, apparently if we run a bath here, it too will be blue.
|The lower gorge, our man out on a 2nd jet boat run|
|Old coal mine in the 'Snowdon' area|
|Dramatic views from the footpath|
|Nearing the end showing the river broadening into a 'braided river'|
We got back to the car planning to head off to have lunch in Methven, but we did have to stop to speak to the bride first though! They weren’t married at that stage, but were having photos taken before the ceremony! I’m not sure she knew the boys had only just made it as we heard them talking about running out of fuel as we’d followed them down to the beach! She looked lovely and we had a really good chat, I’m sure she shouldn’t have been talking to us about where we were from etc on her wedding day, but she seemed genuinely interested!
Methven is a ski town, and had a slightly abandoned feel about it, but we still got a good lunch, before heading back over the longest bridge in NZ. Sadly it wasn’t very impressive as it was very low, but we’ve done it! We were late for the cats, but only an hour or so, so they quickly forgave us!
|The Nor'west or Canterbury cloud arch (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nor%27west_arch)|
The cats do make us laugh, we seem to have one good night with Tiffany (she comes in at bedtime) and one when she is a dirty stop out! This isn’t really a problem except that I wake up and call, and she still doesn’t come in and then sleeping is a bit of a problem! Then the boys want to go out, then they want to come back in…. it’s a small price to pay however as they are great. The most we’ve shared the bed with so far is 3 – the big ones, Tiff was out! That was a bit of a squash! I’ve met the local hedgehog a couple of times while calling Tiff, once he was making a huge amount of noise squaring up to another one (boy or girl? How do I know?) The second time he stood stock still pretending he wasn’t in the light of the torch, I thought I’d try stroking him, first his foot, and then his cheek, below the spike line! Well you have to try these things and he didn’t seem to mind! Next doors lambs seem to want some attention too, baaing at me as I hold the gate for the car to go through, quick stroke there too!
|The Pacific Ocean at 'Rangaia Huts'. The cloud shows why NZ is called 'The land of the long white clouds'|
We went to look at the sea today at the nearest point, which was 20 mins away, nice pebbly beach, the other side of a long spit of land forming a gentle lagoon. The sea looked fab, so B went in for a paddle, next thing I knew, I was moving his clothes further up the beach and he was on his knees with a wave breaking over his head! It was very funny, but explains why there were no kids on the beach! We didn’t go in for a swim as we thought that might be the end of us! He came out and I thought he’d managed to go in with his hanky in his pocket, but no, his pockets were full of pebbles. That wouldn’t help if he’d decided to swim!
On the whole we haven’t done much here but cook, eat (drink) and fuss cats! It’s been heaven and I shall be really sad when it’s over and our adventure starts again!
Thoughts on 2012:
The last year has seen so many changes :–
- “Yes you can have redundancy” Hurrah! But still scary!
- B being at home to cook my dinner from May
- Streamlining our lives, we gave away and sold so many of our belongings.
- Really enjoying my leaving do, thank you to all those that were there.
- Renting the House out.
- Re-homing Jasper, very hard, but Hilda is wonderful.
- Saying good bye to all our family and friends, (it was lovely to leave from my Brothers and spend our last day with Charles and Caroline)
- To realise that people like us, and want to read the blog, to be told “Reading your blog is like having a hug from you, and cheers me up when I am sad”