Friday 20 November 2015

The Final Leg- Tekapo

Compared with the last blog, this one is going to be pretty ordinary…..except nothing is ever ordinary when you’re on the road!

We left Peski’s POP in Gearldine with a jar of pickled onions ($4.50) and a dozen fresh free-range eggs ($5) in the pantry; 11 laid the day before and one on the morning of our departure- you can’t get fresher than that. David also gave me a big handful of broccoli florets and Maureen passed on a large pottle of fresh Apple & Cinnamon yoghurt which came from a grateful movanner who had left a tray after they had certified his bus self-contained. Maureen & David are self containment officers for NZMCA.

Tui came to farewell us too-

The day started out sunny and fine but by the time we pulled out an ominous big black cloud was hanging over the mountains in the distance, the wind was blowing a gale and very soon big fat drops of rain were splattering on the windscreen. Not long after the rain started we had another idiot pass us on a yellow line, that’s two in two days. It must be the start of the silly season. And just in case you’re wondering, on main roads we travel at 85-90kph (90 is our legal limit) and David is forever pulling over to let traffic pass. These are just impatient drivers.

I’ll be passing both photos onto the police to follow up. Some of you may think that’s a bit over the top, but not only are they putting themselves and us at risk, they are also risking the lives of people in any approaching vehicles. Vehicles that could contain family or friends of any one of us. I believe in being proactive, we can’t turn a blind eye to dangerous driving. It’s hard enough travelling on our roads, being alert and aware at all times without other people adding to the stress.

Somewhere between the photo above and the one below, I took the ‘naked men’ photo and going by the response to that blog post, I think I’ve found the key to increasing reader traffic on my blog. Find more photos like it! Over 800 people read that post within the first 12 hours, this was helped along by me posting a censored version of the photo and a link to the blog post on a forum I contribute to and a Motorhome Facebook group I belong too. Curiosity killed the cat! People just can’t resist.

I loved some of the comments too-
From Jimu, one of my blog followers and regular commenter- ‘I'd say those blokes were proper Burkes......’ Very clever considering the photo was taken near Burkes Pass.
From Bartis, on my forum- ‘Fresh water version of "Free Willie"??

Anyway enough of that, moving right along…..

The lupins finally made an appearance as we passed through Burkes Pass. Just a few small clumps here and there and then this bank full, but most of them were small plants and still in bud. Hopefully the lupins at Lake Tekapo will be further along with their flowering.

It was early afternoon when we pulled into the NZMCA Tekapo Park, another property that we’re very familiar with. There were a few others parked up but luckily for us none had nabbed our favourite spot. The park is large but the ground is quite undulating with very few level areas and then some of the level areas are under the trees which means no TV reception.

Once set up, David had to do a bit of repair work. Last time we were here this area had deep ruts from a bulldozer that had been doing some work. Each time we left or arrived we drove over them to try and flatten them out. This time we made the ruts!

While David was scouting around near the van he came across this fledgling cheeping away in the long grass. We think the strong wind must have blown him out of the nest a few days too early as he could only flap along the tops of the grass. I think it’s either a green finch or a yellowhammer chick.

There’s a lovely view of the lake from our site and I can see through the camera zoom that the lupins are indeed flowering on the lake front. They’ll keep, it’s too cold and windy and we’re just happy to rest up for the afternoon after the last few days of travel.

Later in the afternoon I happened to look out the window and got the surprise of my life (again) to see three horses and a couple of ladies at the check-in kiosk. This certainly is not usual and I’m sure they didn’t have ‘wings’ attached to their pack boxes. Red wings are the NZMCA membership symbol that all members have on their motorhomes.

I wandered down to take some photos of the horses, two beautiful appaloosas and a lovely palomino. I got talking to the women and they told me they are riding the length of the South Island, they started at the most northerly point, Cape Farewell (Golden Bay) and were finishing at Slope Point in Southland, the most southerly point. They live in Invercargill so they were now entering familiar country.

They’d ridden through high country stations and over mountain ranges down the centre of the island for most of the way. They had arrived here at the park by coming down the eastern side of the lake via a sheep station at the end of the road. When they saw all the motorhomes they thought it must have been a holiday park and were hoping to tether the horses and set up their tent at the end of the park.

They led their horses off to graze in the grass while they decided what to do.

I saw them disappearing along the path later on, they were hoping to stay in Tekapo for a few days to give the horses a break and this morning we saw them in a paddock near town so they must have worked out a solution.

And then to top it all off,  I happened to glance out the window this morning to see three people passing through the camp on Segeways!

I tell you, life on the road is never boring.

And just a to let you know, the lupins on the lake front are definitely in full bloom! Here’s a taster for the next blog.


  1. Wow, look at those lupins! Still hoping to hit the road on Friday. Hakataramea Pass is a good detour at this stage.
    Will keep in touch.

    1. Hope the rain stays away and look forward to seeing you. Safe travels.


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