Thursday, November 09, 2006

A journey into memory

Some mornings, Gert wakes to find that I need to take a journey and with remarkable patience, he listens while I talk him through driving from the top of New Zealand's South Island back home to Dunedin.

The most difficult decision is always which way to go after leaving the Ferry in Picton.

Much as I love the State Highway 1 journey straight down the east coast of the island, I can't resist the drive through to Nelson ... missing Kaikoura's seal colonies and whale watching.

Stopping in Blenheim , an old home of mine - there would be wine tastings of the most superior kind before driving on through stunning country to Nelson , a lovely little city ... with an international populace, attracting people looking for lifestyle.

Down the Coast, through Greymouth and then on down into Hokitika .

Main street Franz Joseph and I remember a cafe with a wooden picnic table outside - watching people walk by, helicopters a constant, taking tourists up mountains, over glaciers.

The West Coast road is a favourite of mine ... a homecoming I can't explain.

Fox Glacier slides by as I make for the Haast , crossing through the mountains and into Lake Hawea, on through to Wanaka .

I lived in Central Otago too and so I said that we would have to pop through to Queenstown and on down into Te Anau, another town with an old home of mine tucked away in a corner.

And then home ... to Dunedin .


Mark J said...

Born in westport on the West Coast I'm bound to have some bias, but I have to say you're right about the West Coast road through Haast. The Sandflies are however, an important consideration to take, when planning a stop :)

woman wandering said...

But not in winter ... remember those frosty mornings that heralded a blue sky kind of day :)

I think I love the Coast even more in winter ... that kind of winter anyway.

And then there's the rain ...

Mark J said...

OMG - the rain! Having spent a number of years on the coast I can now state with a certainty i can sleep through a death metal concert - even if my bed was located right in front of the main speaker stack. Such is the West Coast Rain. Not an aquaphobic in site, just a few webbed feet on the more established coasters :)

ML said...

Oh I want to go with you WW!!! YOu made me think of our wonderful trips along those same areas and the big bird?? parrot type ?? that would not leave the car roof@! I do love South Island and NZ. And today, on Veterans Day, I remember the wonderful trips to the WWI cemeteries and the ceremony under the arch! I do appreciate all your attempts to educate me, a humble but newly excited American Democrat!

Peter said...

Di, if I were to have been born over there in N-Zealand, I'd be chronically homesick in Belgium...

woman wandering said...

Hey Mark ... I'm looking forward to the day I'm under a good West Coast downpour though. There's nothing quite like it except for a good downpour in Fiordland ... sigh.

The Kea Mary Lou. If you click into David's photography site and then search Kea, you'll find them :) They have to be my favourite NZ bird, well along with the Bellbird and Tui, Fantail and Magpie oh and Woodpigeon.

Hi Peter ... well yes, Belgie is just a little different to NZ ... :) I imagine you would love the diving over there, and in Australia too.