Te Anau to Alexandra

The morning looked promising, the weather forecast didn’t but I was used to the rain by now. I was hoping I wouldn’t miss too much because off it, half of today’s journey was going to be new territory.

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To Gore, then it’s all new.

I stopped to fill up with diesel and to get breakfast, a pie, (Angus beef, mushroom and bacon, just divine) which I took to the bird sanctuary, Googled as “The Bird Sanctuary is open from dawn until dusk and entry is by a gold coin donation. The aviaries and pens that house the birds are set in beautiful grounds with views of the lake. Free flying birds enjoy the trees planted there and the ducks like the water edge below the boardwalk by the lake.” . I was hopeful of great things as they have a Takahe but was disappointed. I did spot the Takahe as a little dot in the distance and don’t recall seeing any birds. I did have a pleasant chat to a young Australian couple.

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As I left Te Anau the sun vanished and the drizzle soon started and it was also misty much of the way to Alexandra.

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I stopped at Lumsden as I was told they made the best pies. I had it in my head it was Jimmy’s pies and oops, wrong place (Jimmy’s pies reside in Roxburgh) but they had one, not a patch on the one I had for breakfast at Te Anau. They had some other pies in interesting flavours, teriyaki something if I remember correctly. I suspect that was the one I was advised to get, next time 🙂

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Maybe these were where the best pie was, who know 😉

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I was in Southland but only briefly!

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I passed the tractor, one of only a few vehicles I did pass, maybe the only one,

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This horse float pulled out in front of me, gave me a fright, however the horse looked calm.

I stopped in Gore, feeling the need for something sweet and I remembered where the very nice bakery was (they had yummy looking pies too) and purchased a gingerbread man -person?, cream donut and ginger kiss.

 I still have traces of the 100s and 1000s (nonpareils) on the dashboard from my last visit there in April. When I’m travelling I tend to eat a lot, some of you may have noticed, and drink copious cups of coffee. I like trying the local cuisine and pies are a New Zealand tradition, a quick, nourishing and portable meal for those on the move. Unlike America, our pies are mainly meat based and are available at gas stations, local convenience stores, bakeries and grocery stores (supermarkets).

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The main street of Gore, the nice bakery is on the right (out of the photo 🙂 )

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I stopped briefly at Tapanui, which became Millhaven for movie Pete’s Dragon. I bought a Lotto ticket, sadly not a winner.

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I wonder which April, 2016 or 207. I was here in November 🙂

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This is the cutest building, I should have stopped an taken a better photo.

My GPS gives me multiple options for a destination, confusing when the road signs are saying something else. I chose the wrong option which is where then I got a little lost, sorry Kiri, she advised me to go one way and I thought I knew where I was going. I didn’t

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I’ve never been good with choices.

However, it proved to be a good route as I saw some lovely old buildings. Old is quite recent, globally speaking. We are a new country of less than 200 years. The arrival of the first European happened in the late 18th century when the country was regularly visited by explorers and other sailors, missionaries, traders and adventurers. In 1840 the Treaty of Waitangi was signed between the British Crown and various Māori chiefs, bringing New Zealand into the British Empire. There was extensive British settlement throughout the rest of the century; it all happened rather quickly.

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Kiri then took me the easiest (?) way, got me lost on the gently rolling hills, in the beautiful mist on a very narrow road in the middle of nowhere.

 

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I had no idea where I was, there were few houses and no traffic.

There was a bonus, however . . . . . .

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The Moa Flat MOA!!

I had to Google the photo, the one I took doesn’t show how beautiful this piece of art is. I thought about it later, why didn’t I stop and take a photo, although it wasn’t a good place to stop, there was NO TRAFFIC!! Lessons learned as a teenage driver have largely remained. Another reason to go back, to take a decent photo
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I saw lots of Perendale and Romney sheep. It was lovely up in the mist. no cars, just me. I’m sure it would have been equally as lovely with sunshine. I expect it would be like the Yorkshire Dales (the Heriot connection?)

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I knew when I was nearing Roxburgh as the fruit orchards began to appear, I saw lots of apricots cherries and grapes being advertised on roadside stalls, and,though it was spring, I had missed the blossoms and the fruit which would ripen in a mere 2 weeks. The nationally famous Roxburgh Red apricot was first planted in 1866 by Joseph Tamblyn, who bought a few fruit trees from a passing swagman.

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Cherries and apricots are two of my favourite fruit.

I didn’t stop in Roxburgh, I’ll save that for next time.

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A brief glimpse of the Clutha river, good to see it again!

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The Roxburgh Dam is the earliest of the large hydroelectric projects in the southern South Island, built in the 1950s across the Clutha river and I stopped for have a look.
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It’s a long time since I have seen coal advertised thus!

 

The landscape changed to one of rocky outcrops, it reminded me of Lord of the Rings country and may have been used for filming. Many areas in Otago were and you can take LOTR tours of different kinds.

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sheep

I loved the sensible sheep sheltering under the ledge.

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I remember feeling excited to see this tiny thin strip of blue. 🙂

There were more very old homes, some that appeared to be being restored. This area is so rich in history. The Scottish and English settlers were skilled in making their homes of stone, abundant here and durable unlike wooden structures.

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I was longing for some sunshine. November is a fickle month, I knew that . . . . .

~~23 November~~

 

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