Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Especially for Dad

....and Pam and Trish & Len and Rodger & Heather and Gladys and everyone else that plays golf & has been waiting to see if we were just taking the clubs along for ballast. We finally dusted (literally) them off and played a round of golf at the Lumsden Golf Course this afternoon.
When we decided to have a game this morning it was cool, grey & misty, by the time we got to the course early this afternoon it was blue sky, beating sun, and a scorcher of a day! We didn't plan that very well, we could have decided to have our first away game on a nicer course (we've seen plenty) & a cooler day (we've had plenty of those too!).  Lumsden is a very uninteresting flat up & down 9 hole course with plenty of trees & very dry fairways. We were the only silly buggers on it and we both started with a hiss & a roar but faded on the home straight, the heat was unbearable as were my golf shoes on my sore feet. All things considered we both had a few really good holes, some average ones & a couple we'd both rather forget; so that would be......the usual game of golf!

The highlight was back in the carpark, in the tree just above our ute. I wonder how many of you know what this is?

This is a black phase fantail & what a sweet little bird he(or she) was. Black fantails are not that common and are mostly found in the South Island, they are virtually non-existent in the North Island. This would be about the 7th or 8th one I've seen down here but all the others haven't waited around for me to take a photo. This little guy was more than happy to pose, I had my arm outstretched to within a foot or two of him & he didn't move for ages and then when he did, he flitted closer still. Unfortunately I only had my cell phone to snap him. I may just have to go back there tomorrow with my camera and try for some better ones.

We were so hot after golf we decided to go for a swim at the stream where David had been fishing. The water was just as cold as the other day but it was so refreshing. I've always preferred river (or stream) swimming to the beach, especially with it being so crystal clear on a shingle base; no sand or salt just ice cold fresh water.

Those brown trout were still taunting us too, we had a swim in the pool right beside their patch & they continued to swim in and out of the flow right beside us! Trout would usually hide away under the fallen logs until we were downstream or out of sight. Not them. One of them was a monster too.

On the way back home we stopped so I could get this shot of the Oreti River looking west towards Fiordland. We feel like we have a connection with the Oreti, the river flows south to Invercargill & it's mouth is beside Sandy Point, a recreation area where we went with the family & by ourselves walking & bird watching.

And one more photo from Lumsden, this is the local hotel with it's fabulous paint job. Originally named the Railway Hotel it was built in the early 1900s, it had 27 rooms, including 19 bedrooms, 4 sitting rooms, 2 dining rooms & a billiard room. The hotel stables had 20 stalls and the owner ran two coaches a week from Lumsden to Lake Manapouri via Te Anau. Lumsden was once the centre point for travellers, gold prospectors & drovers alike.

Well that's it for Lumsden, we move on tomorrow. We have actually been here longer than we intended but we've been waiting for the weekend to arrive. David saw a flyer back in Mandeville advertising a fundraising self drive 4WD safari through the private Nokomai Station. We've booked for it and are moving up to Athol tomorrow so we're closer to the starting point. It's a day long drive through the station and we exit near the Nevis, where there is a well known public 4WD crossing which we'll probably do when we get to the Queenstown area.

It's going to be a great day, apparently the views are amazing so lets hope the weather stays fine. The organisers Oked our Ute but suggested we put some weight in the tray, they didn't know about the fifth-wheel assembly & the deflated inflatable which will give us 100kgs extra. All diesel vehicles must have a spark arrestor fitted- on most new vehicles it's standard- they don't want us setting fire to the tussock. We also have to sign away our life, carry a first aid kit, a fire extinguisher & have suitable tyres, so this isn't just going to be any ordinary drive in the park!

I'm not sure when I'll be able to post again, I think we'll be away from cell phone reception but I'll have a post ready to go as soon as I can with photos of course!

"Out There" doing it.

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