Saturday, April 10, 2010

Lake Tekapo and Christchurch

Gregory makes a collage in his journal.

Aoraki/Mt. Cook and Lake Pukaki

Lake Tekapo

Gregory's Heart on the banks of Lake Tekapo. This stone is called Greywacke.

Church of the Good Sheperd ~ Lake Tekapo

Exploring the banks of Lake Tekapo

This is an example of how the Dairy or Takaway shops are set up. I think of it as "cafeteria-style" with cases that you open and select what you want. On the left are steak pies, chips, nuggets and other hot foods, in the middle are pre-made sandwiches and on the left are muffins, cakes and other desserts. The carrot cake looked divine. It was topped with pumpkin seeds and bits of dried apricot. This is Robbie's Cafe and Milk Bar in Geraldine where we stopped for lunch.

The single scoops are generous! Gregory is partaking in a bit of Boysenberry. (Note: Mike is in the background window shopping.)

Kiwi Coins

Visiting with our Christchurch host Doug. We met Doug up at Tahuna Beach in Nelson. He was on a fishing holiday with his brother Frank and his girlfriend Kate. They are from Scotland and Doug has lived in New Zealand for about 8 and a half years.

It was another glorious day for our drive from Twizel to Christchurch. We stopped at Lake Tekapo and spent a bit of time along the shores of this bright turquoise blue lake and stopped at the picturesque little stone church on its banks. The church was swarming with tourists with more buses arriving all the time but we still had a moment in the pews and then went down to the shore to climb on the rocks and watch the ducks.

Rarely do we eat out but today we stopped in at a takeaway shop in Geraldine where Mike had a meat pie (pies are really big here and can be found everywhere), Gregory had some chicken nuggets and I had an enormous blueberry muffin. Gregory topped things off with a very generous single scoop ($2.50NZ or $1.75US) boysenberry vanilla swirl. We also went to the post in Fairlie (found inside the hardware store) and posted our first postcards of the trip.

The landscaped seemed to change each time we turned a corner starting with views of Mt. Cook and Lake Pukaki, then Lake Tekapo and then lush green farmland eventually turned to a more arid and rocky landscape. Occasionally you’d find a patch of pine trees but mostly rolling hills and yes plenty of sheep.

Once in Christchurch we washed the car at the ezi wash and then went by Doug Drake Motors to see about selling the car back to the dealer we bought it from. We’d just missed the “boss man” but our salesman, Jason thought that he would buy it back for $1,500 and that we should just drive it until Sunday (day we fly out) and then bring it by.

We were eager to settle the deal, and not leave it to the last minute, so the next day we drove over with our host Doug (a friendly Scot and fellow cyclist that we met at the Tahuna campground in Nelson) and finalized everything. It was so simple. We just dropped by and within a few minutes we had a check in hand, no paperwork. We went to cash the check, at the bank the check was drawn on, and Mike said he found that the cashier’s boss was Jason’s girlfriend (our salesman at Doug Drake). The cashier had also bought a car from Doug Drake Motors. Again, it just goes to show it is a small world!

Mike had done research the night before and found that many Nissan Bluebirds were on the market on “Trade me” the website used for selling cars, so we were happy to get $1,500NZ ($1,050US) even though we paid $2,700NZ ($1,890US). We spent $840US to drive the car for 48 days so that works out to $17.50 a day. We met a lady who was paying $2,600NZ to rent a van for 42 days and she would recoup nothing so we figure we did pretty well!

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