Friday, November 1, 2013

NZ - Akaroa

For out last night in New Zealand we stayed at  farm house B and B just outside Akaroa. It was the Monday night at the end of a long weekend. Since this area is a less than two hour drive from Christchurch, accommodation on the Saturday and Sunday nights was impossible.

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The drive to Akaroa is your normal impossibly scenic journey through hills that were once part of a volcano on the Banks Peninsula.

Eventually you round a bend and there is the Akaroa Harbour off in the distance.

We stopped at Duvauchelle for lunch and I had a feed of fish and chips that was excellent except there was too much salt. It also was quite cheap by NZ and Oz standards.

Boat sheds.

With the aid of the GPS on my Android phone we passed through Akaroa and went up a steep windy road to the B and B. By the way, I use Sygic which operates very much like a Tom Tom and is superior to the regular Google Navigation app. Its voice commands and warning signals are much better. If you have a micro SD card in your phone you can store the maps on the card so that you don't need to be connected to the internet to use it out in the middle of nowhere.

The accommodation at the B and B turned out to be some huts that were powered by batteries fed by a solar panel. The owner said that it would cost a fortune to have his farm be connected to the grid even though the distance was not that far.

The owner was Swiss and had settled in NZ twenty years before and bought a small land holding to farm. He had built the huts himself and during the summer months operates the B and B. 

The view from the front gate.

While I had my usual afternoon nap, Marianne visited the animals on the farm.

After my nap, we drove down to the town and walked around.

It's a very pretty harbour and I could understand why it was popular.

I suspect you would need a wet suit to keep warm enough in the cold water.

A vendor on the jetty was cooking and selling fish sandwiches. If we ever get back there I would like to sample his wares.

Housing in the area is expensive because of the proximity to Christchurch.

After exploring the jetty we walked around the harbour to the main part of the village.

I suspect this B and B was not only very good but very expensive.

There must have been some earthquake damage.

I was amused by this poster. Along similar lines, a couple of weeks ago I received this joke that you might enjoy.

In a dark and hazy room, peering into a crystal ball, the mystic delivers grave news: ''There's no easy way to tell you this, so I'll just be blunt. Prepare yourself to be a widow. Your husband will die a violent and horrible death this year.''

Visibly shaken, Laura stares at the woman's lined face, then at the single flickering candle, then down at her hands. She takes a few deep breaths to compose herself and to stop her mind racing. She simply has to know.

She meets the fortune teller's gaze, steadies her voice and asks: ''Will I be acquitted?''

I liked the red.

With all the green grass and trees I wondered if the fire danger signs ever get to the 'extreme' level. Obviously some hoon had messed with hte arrow.

We haad some very undistinguished mussels at the fish and chip shop in Akaroa so decided to redeem the situation by buying some wine, cheese and pate and eating it up on the deck at our hut. We had never heard of 'Airedale' cheese before but it tasted very good.

Sun set.

The next morning it was pretty chilly in the B and B so the fumes from the hot coffee really stand out.

We fired up the gas heater in the morning. It had been warm enough in the bed but it was chilly if you stuck your nose out from under the covers.

The owner made us scrambled eggs for breakfast in this kitchen and the colour of the eggs from his hens was incredibly yellow.

We headed off down the hill back to Christchurch.

Eventually we left the hills and mountains on the Banks Peninsula and reached Lake Forsyth down on the flat plain. Finally the sky was clear of clouds and we could see the Alps. One of those peaks is Mount Cook.

So that ends the photos of our trip. Our flights back to LAX via Auckland on Air New Zealand were fine and the seat between us was free so we had some extra room.

When we handed back our Jucy car, a young couple were handing back their green Jucy Camper. They had very much enjoyed it and had often just camped by the side of the road. We had thought about renting one but decided not to because we thought it would be too cold but they said that they were never cold because the heat from their bodies warmed up the air in the van. Next time we would rent the camper.

Driving round the South Island has to be one of the great trips you can do and possibly the most scenic. I hope you all enjoyed the blogs.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting. I really enjoyed your blog and pictures.