Sunday, March 6, 2016

March 7, 2016 Blenheim to Christchurch

Today was a drive day.  We loaded the van and were on the road by 9:30 am.  Blenheim wasn’t much of a town so we headed straight south. 

The first detour was a salt works down at Lake Grasmere.  While we were driving to the facility we met some other tourists on their way back on the wrong side of the road. It was pretty scary as it highlighted how easy it would be to make a mistake.    The salt panning was really quite a large operation as the salt pans must have covered several square miles.  The sea water was flooded into successively more concentrated pans until it was let into the last pan and then the salt was scraped up with large front end loaders and loaded into rail cars.  The salt looked quite gray so it must be forwarded to another facility for final processing.  

Agnes took the wheel and had her first open road experience on the left side.  She did very well negotiating what was a very narrow road by North American standards.  Agnes felt like it was pretty stressful.  Jos said she did very well and will have no problems with a little more experience.

We traveled along the coast line watching the sea crashing along the beach. There were lots a great spots to stop and see the seals along the coast.  The road was incredibly twisting and had a bunch of really small single lane tunnels.  There were signs advising that passing trucks was not allowed in the tunnels.  How that would be possible is hard to imagine as the tunnels were no more than 10 wide.  There were some high black clouds which were looking really menacing and which obscured the mountain tops.  However it did not rain and even though it was pretty windy it was still nice and warm.  We stopped at the Ohau stream walk and walked in about one kilometer to a great water fall.  The stream is where New Zealand Fur seal pups are nurtured during the winter months.  There were only 4 pups in the stream as breeding season has not started. 

We are in great three bedroom apt tonight.  It is an Airbnb and is extremely well equipped.  Jos and I ducked out to get beer and saw some lamb chops in the supermarket.  So Jos and I cooked supper. We had grilled lamb chops, sautéed mushrooms, corn on the cob, and baby potatoes.  Lamb chops were a real treat for us. Getting good lamb in Canada is not a real possibility.   What a great supper topping off a great day.

Bet nobody knows what a “trundler”  is.



Anonymous said...

Shopping cart! Glad you had a great trip down to Christchurch. I love your sense of wonder and whimsy. Computer monitors and trundler returns! Well done. I look forward to reading your blog when I get up every morning, thank you. Congratulations to Agnes, it really does get easier. Can't be any tougher than driving the Queen Mary!

Gail said...

Hello Terry and Agnes

We have just returned from our Panama Canal adventure where we had very little internet access. We just got caught up on your blog and it looks like you are going to have yet another GRAND adventure.

Kudos to Agnes for taking on the driving on the wrong side of the road - what a trooper. You are a lucky man to have such wonderful support.

As always, you have thrown out a few "nuggets" that I had to follow up on. Now I know what a trundler is and have also learned about the battle of Gallipoli. Thanks for the ongoing challenges.

Loved the photo of the TV in the middle of nowhere, leave it to you to find such pictorial gems.

Now that we are caught up, we will be following your adventures and reading your blog each day. Be safe and have fun and remember to tell Agnes each day that you really are fortunate to have such a terrific wife.

Gail and Bob

Milly Johnson said...

Yes, just wonderful! Love the British words... You seem in place and ready... Great photos... All the best...

Deb said...

I wish a trundler weren't a shopping cart. I love the word so much, my thought was "whatever it is, I want one." But no, no place for a shopping cart. Ditto what Gail said - props to you, Agnes, for tackling "wrong" side of road driving. I am so impressed!!

I'm loving following your blog. David and I spent three weeks in New Zealand decades ago and fell in love with the people and the beauty of the country. It was only when we returned home and saw a coffee table book of New Zealand that we realized that even with three weeks of travel from North to South island, we had only scratched the surface. Enjoy every single minute of it!

Jim said...

Great memories from a decade ago. We spent the night in Blenheim B&B a decade ago.