March 3, 2010
After a leisurely morning at Bob and Christine’s on Tuesday, March 2nd, where I put the finishing touches on my handbag and we packed and made phone calls, we said our goodbyes and promised to let our hosts know where we finally land. The have been so generous and have even offered up their bach (holiday home ~ pronounced “batch”) in St. Arnaud for our next stay. St. Arnaud is south west of Blenheim and just a couple of hours away.
As I mentioned in my previous entry we stopped at Highland Estates for vineyard views from their observation tower and a sampling. The day was a bit overcast and we did have a bit of rain on the drive but it didn’t spoil the views of this picturesque region. We had our first livestock-crossing encounter. Cattle were moved across the road as we drove on past. We also passed Rainbow Ski Area in the Upper Wairau Valley. Bob and Christine are quite involve with fundraising to maintain this non-profit club where any money made is put back into the maintenance of the area. Employeess are paid but all other funds go back into the ski area.
The bach is located in Nelson Lakes National Park and just a short walk from Lake Rotoiti. The home is set amongst a wide variety of beech trees and other lush vegetation and the birds sing to us from the treetops. It is quite spacious and it can sleep up to 8 in 2 self contained units. We are enjoying the cozy fireplace and mountain views.
Last night Gregory and I took a walk down to the lake bringing along Which Native Tree? by Andrew Crowe so that we could identify some of the trees and shrubs. Just down the road from the bach is a shelter for dining and cooking, a camping area and a scenic little dock that makes its way out into the lake. Ducks came to the crystal clear waters edge to greet Gregory and we watched some young German travelers jump off the dock into the chilly lake. The young lady commented later how glad she was there were hot showers! We had a small taste of the pesky little sand flies that inhabit these islands. Christine had warned us not to go out without repellent but we had forgotten. We swatted them away from our faces yet each still got a couple of bites that we had to attend to when we got back.
We played Trivial Pursuit Genus Edition and it was quickly apparent that this edition was made for the kiwi crowd. There were lots of questions about New Zealand people and places. We were proud that we were able to answer some questions correctly! Gregory did some research on the kiwi bird and today took the information from his graphic organizer and wrote his “sloppy copy” for his kiwi bird report. I’ll post it when he completes his final copy.