|Church of the Good Shepard on the shores of Lake Tekapo|
The drive out of Queenstown past the Mount Cook range and many other mountains and forest area was lovely - although sometimes hair-raising. And I am just the passenger! Just as in California, you can't go directly straight to anywhere. One always has to go around mountains, through passes, over saddles and along river valleys to get there. The scenery is great, but the driving is tiresome and requires great concentration so we don't have a lot of conversation along the way.
At first, we were going to continue south east to Dunedin and the coastline. However, with the World Cup Cricket matches still going on after weeks of it, we still cannot get into Christchurch, one of the Cricket tournament areas. To get out of Queenstown without retracing our trip along the west coast, we need to head toward Christchurch anyway.
On our way north, we passed through the Lake Tekapo area and visited the famous little stone church known as The Church of the Good Shepard. Lake Tekapo is New Zealand's highest lake at 710
|Our room in the inn in Rangiora!|
The church was built in 1935 as a memorial to the pioneers of the Aoraki/Mount Cook Mackenzie area. Nearby is a bronze statue of a sheepdog with the inscription: "without the help of which the grazing of this mountain country would be impossible."
|We went out for dinner - thank you very much!|
|Come to dinner, little mouse!|
We ended up in a Holiday Park camping area in a small
trailer-like structure in Rangiora. It was the only thing available and we were
still 20 km outside and northwest of Christchurch. Dennis teases me about when
we were first dating and I took him to a number of black tie events. The first
fundraiser event he took me to was in a VFW Hall! It was for our parish and
fun, but the contrast deserved a chuckle. So now he is ranking this lovely
overnight room right up there with the VFW Hall! At least, it was clean even
though the bed was horrible, but it got us out of the van for a rest.
|There was no where to sit except at the table, but it worked.|
We made the decision to just keep driving northwest rather than to go back to see Christchurch in the morning. People seem to be very moved by the aftermath of an earthquake that happened there a few years ago and how they are rebuilding. It will have to be on our to-do list for next year, as I think we will bring the boat back to yachties-friendly New Zealand and fly to Australia for our land cruising. Not sure yet, but we like it here.
|An interesting "American" lunch. Most places don't|
serve yellow mustard - or any kind of mustard.
|Nelson Bay on our way out of town.|
|Picton is a lovely little town. Nice harbor area.|
Once we landed in Wellington, we beat it north to get free of the next morning's rush hour as we wanted to be on the road very early the next day. Thanks to the AA tour and lodging books (that are free everywhere in the information kiosks in NZ), we found a nice room in Porirua at the Marina Motor Lodge. The lady must have thought we had had a rough day as she brought two glasses of wine to our room! Ahhhh! Relax! Then a short walk to dinner.Up early and on the road by 7:00 AM to Rotorua! Again, but this time for a tattoo!