We’re on the road again. Its going to be a faster trip than the journey to Southland. But we are keen to return home. We’ll be heading to cross over on the ferry in two or three days. On our way to visit a cousin – ten times removed – I’ve been in email contact with for some years I found Lake Waihola looking more beautiful than I can remember having seen it before. Each time I remember passing the lake, it has been dull in colour and choppy. Today it was so calm and blue. It looked delightful. Surprisingly, there were no boats enjoying the calm water.
We had a lovely visit with Lean cousins in Oamaru. It was great to finally put faces to their names. Neville and I enjoyed revised some family history.
From Oamaru we headed to the Ashburton Hotel. Despite some less than positive reviews, we found the facilities to be first class and well worth $120. Quiet and set amidst a large garden, it was a lovely relaxing place to stay.
On the road again next morning we headed for Christchurch and a visit with my niece. The GPS took us onto many unnecessary roads, including a secondary one – with a slower speed limit – which ran parallel with the main highway. And that wasn’t the worst of it. Once inside Christchurch city limits, we were taken on back roads that appeared to send us in the opposite direction to where we assumed we wanted to go. But not knowing Christchurch at all, we had no choice but to follow these crazy directions. After visiting with my niece and her children we followed her directions to get back onto SH1. We travelled about two kilometres and made three turns before returning to the main highway. Quite different from the 25-30 minutes weaving around the city to find her house.
We were unable to make a ferry booking for the day we wanted so ended up taking a slower trip north from Christchurch. As driver I often miss little sights along the way, but I caught what I have called Jigsaw Hill. If I saw a jigsaw puzzle picture of such colourful hills and mountains with farmland dotted around I’d doubt its authenticity. We stayed at the Cheviot Hotel ($125), again being pleasantly surprised by the facilities there. Taking our evening meal at the hotel gave us an enormous meal for a very reasonable price. Hubby’s steak ($28) covered more than half of the huge plate while the pork ribs ($24) I ordered were enough to provide leftovers for our breakfast as well. Unfortunately I never had my camera or I could have shared the sight which greeted us as the meal was delivered.
Gore Bay vs Gore
While at Cheviot, I took a drive out to Gore Bay. I figured I knew quite a bit about Gore, so I’d check out Gore Bay as well. Now if you’re not from around either of these two places, don’t get confused. If you’re in Gore, don’t decide you’d like to check out the Bay. Or when you see Gore Bay, don’t decide to hop in the car and find the township. They are a little distant from each other. Like 600km. With the help of Mr Google, I discovered that Gore was named in honour of one of the early governors of New Zealand, but I can’t find any mention of the reasoning behind Gore Bay’s name. I was happy to wander along the stony beach for a while, miraculously I found some more stones to take home. Carefully hidden from my husband of course. He has long since tired of my stones throughout the car.