Monday, April 25, 2016

______________________ SOUTHERN SOJOURN (4) ______________________

Traveling south from Queenstown to Kingston - Lumsden - Te Anau - Milford Sound - back to Te Anau - South through Manapouri - Tuatapere - Riverton - Nightcaps - Drummond - Gore - Invercargill - Bluff - then North East to the Caitlins (Coastal area between Bluff and Balclutha) - then North to Balcutha - Dunedin - Palmerston - Ranfurly -  Naseby - St Bathans - Alexandra - Clyde - Cromwell - Arrowtown - Ending in Queenstown.
Traveling south to Riverton the road lead out on the coast. To the left is Fouveaux Strait. In the distance is the hinterland of Fiordland.
A somewhat hazy photo of Riverton from a lookout above the town.

The communal kitchen of our digs in Riverton. The Campsite is a converted school outdoor education centre. The commodious kitchen contained a wood fired cooking stove. It was a robust, honest place with a decor that was definitely circa 1950. By the look of the stack of firewood on the veranda the building retained its distinctive 1950s insulation properties as well.

The lounge / dining / living room was the old school hall now equipped with a large fireplace. It was richly furnished in nostalgia including Formica tables and chairs with shiny chromed legs exactly like the set I grew up with in Christchurch in the 1960s.

Various glass fronted display cases had riveting displays of old bottles and other paraphernalia.

I noted the very emancipated advice from a poster in the kitchen.
I thought that I had been dreaming but on investigation I found that the whinnying that I had heard all night actually came from this horse in the paddock across the road. This horse paced up and down in front of a small creek that stopped it from gaining higher ground where there were three of its companions. It intermittently stopped in front of the creek and vigourously nodded its head up and down but never took the risk and jumped. I watched and dreamed of saddling it up and with a short haired Border Collie dog, that I would name 'Footrot Flats' style, 'Dog' as a companion, riding off into the great back of beyond back country of New Zealand.

I liked Riverton a lot. It has an air of purpose and authenticity about it. It gets its own steady stream of tourists but not so many that this has changed the essential nature and look of the place - a loss that has been effected by the hordes of tourists in places such as Queenstown.

This small port has an interesting little fishing wharf.  We took a walk along the jetty among the crayfish pots and other fishing gear as one boat was unloading after being at sea for two weeks.

No doubt the builder had good and probably humourous reasons for naming this local yacht with the direct and expressive name 'Pig Iron'...... but the name is somewhat ironic (excuse the pun), because the yacht is built of sheet steel (either run of the mill steel or the more non - corrosive Corten steel) rather than iron which is something different again.

The local museum proudly told its history of both Maori and Pakeha discovery and settlement.

Southlands topiary is probably the best I have ever seen anywhere in the world and by far the most humourous!


Dan Gurney said...

Never seen topiary quite like that! It would look good in front of Trump's towers, I think.

Alden Smith said...

Yes I think you are correct Dan. The topiary animal on the left is obviously an elephant. The topiary bird on the right of photo is an extinct New Zealand Moa.

Placed together outside Trump Towers they could symbolize elephantine stupidity and the extinction of intelligence and common sense.