Sydney – Christchurch – Te Anau
Wednesday started with a 5:30 am walk to the railway station for the trip to the airport. I’ve done the trip to the domestic terminal many times, but not the international terminal – I haven’t been out of the country since 1999! The flight to Christchurch was fine until it hit turbulence over Arthurs Pass. I didn’t enjoy that bit at all! Christchurch airport was busy with a ginormous queue and Border Control NZ were filming (the looked like they were following some issue with a couple that looked like they had done something the authorities didn’t like). And my empty passport remained empty as it wasn’t stamped at either end of the journey.
I collected a rental car at the airport – a Hyundai Getz that I don’t like very much. It is red but does not go fast. I also picked up a local sim card for the phone so I could keep connected without the high cost of international roaming.
The motel I stayed at was great and I cast on a Jaywalker sock in Kaffe Fassett Regia yarn.
Thursday started off rainy. I drove south, first stop Ashburton, home of Ashford. You can’t miss the big spinning wheel on the main road. There are three big wheels in total.
I first visited the Ashford shop, and after much browsing, chose some Alpaca/Gotland fibre and some silk/Merino fibre to come home with me.
I also browsed the shops in the craft village and hit gold in the Eastside Gallery with 500 grams of natural chocolate coloured Corridale sliver. Yum yum!
At Geraldine I visited The Giant Jersey and the Alpaca Centre but didn’t buy anything except some cherries from a street stall.
More driving – a rock thrown up by a car at Lake Tekapo cracked the windscreen of the Getz. Cloud prevented any view of Aoraki (Mount Cook). I stayed at Omarama for the night.
Friday started with better weather. First stop was viewing the Clay Cliffs just outside Omarama.
Just before Cromwell I made a detour to Clyde to visit Touch Yarns. Here I bought a skein of undyed fine kid mohair – merino laceweight yarn, a skeing of natural coloured alpaca boucle and a hand-dyed skein of merino boucle.
I doubled back to Cromwell, continued to Frankton near Queenstown (where I stopped briefly in 3G coverage to catch up on emails and tweets) then continued on to my next stop, Te Anau. Here, the rain started up again. I was in another good motel and had a lovely roast lamb dinner at a local cafe.
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