Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Long drives on Christmas Day

It seems to be a tradition in my family that we go for long drives on Christmas Day. This year was no different. We drove to Arrowtown, high in the Southern Alps - thats only about seven hours of driving - ah the blessings of being childless.

Here we are having Christmas lunch in Geraldine... phewee it was hot!
Must have been about 30 degrees and the usual overcast.

Can you tell Pippapotamus and the Lord of Darkness are just down from the tropics?

We struggle to get our roadtrips underway. Geraldine is just over an hour from my place and we had already stopped in Ashburton which is only 30 minutes down the road! Pippapotamus had a spot of coffee line rage after waiting for some pasty faced people to make their coffee, which was pretty basic and it took them as long as it took me to wait in line for the loo, go to the loo, wash my hands the government recommended length of time, get a drink, pay for it and then wait a bit with Pippapotamus. Grrrr! on her behalf.

Tip for young travellers: This place where we stopped has great toilets, that's the red corrugated iron building in the background there. And their staff all wore Santa suits even though they were sweating something chronic.

We had a hot roast lambie on Christmas Eve so it was cold meat sammies to celebrate with on the the Day. I didn't actually forget the knives, it was just too hot to walk over the car and get one.

I drove and drove and then the Lord of Darkness drove the rest of the way. I felt a little guilty cause the scenery was awesome and he was missing it all driving - was nice being driven though.

We stopped at Lake Tekapo and the Church of the Good Shepherd - that's our Pippapotamus and Mags.

I liked this photo of the church cause it isn't the usual angle. I thought the little church was sitting out on a wee spit out on the lake but it isn't. Like so many things it's smaller and more squeezed than you would think.

One thing the tourist books don't show you are the rock piles travellers create as they stop to cool their feet in the lake. People just make little piles of rocks they find and it's like a pilgrimage site, a tribute to the beautiful landscape maybe...

Maybe it's just our human way of leaving our mark on the landscape.

Hey look! another lake!

This one is Lake Pukaki and that there is Mt Cook/Arorangi
How freaken beautiful is that?

Or this from the lookout carpark - for goodness sake!

and this one of the freaks in the carpark...

then my favourite area the Mackenzie high country

aka Afghanistan... just joking...

Apparently this is the standard photo I guess cause there's a good place to stop where there is a plaque commemorating the 100 year anniversary of the arrival of red deer into the high country. Brought over the mountains on bullock wagons (not the bullock's back Lord of Darkness!). Ironically placed there by the Deerstalkers Association.

And after seven hours of drive, another couple of hours of stops for photos, feet dipping, fag stops, coffee stops, meat sammie stops, more photos stops, scorched almonds rolling under the drivers feet stops, and whatever stops we ended up here.....

Walking along the river in Arrowtown. Peaceful, quaint, historic, quiet, restful Arrowtown. Ahhh! a good place to end your Christmas Day.

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