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NZ days 4-5

Day 4

Well day 4 was a rest day as we decided to stay in Oamaru for another day as the weather around us was going to the pack. We planned on going to Wanaka today but the Lindis Pass was closed and even in the afternoon when it was open, you needed to use chains. Now if you have ever fitted snow chains to a motor home you will know why I avoid it at any cost and will find another route around.

So after I cooked the family bacon and eggs for breaky, I went to the office to pay the fees for another day to Zena the office lady you bares absolutely no resemblance to her mythical character but has just as much bite :)

We went to The Gallery, which is a Cafe just near our motor home park, and grabbed a real coffee and some potato wedges with sour cream and sweet chilli sauce to feed the boilers as you tend to eat more when it's 4 degrees.

After topping up, we grabbed our cameras and headed into town to find an adventure to go and it did not take long. There is an abundance of old buildings along the foreshore from days long gone from old wool sheds to storage sheds along the old rail lines. Unfortunately for me they have had fences erected around they to stop anyone entering and it would have been great to get in. On our way back we spotted a little path down the side of a newly build suspension bridge and we decided to explore where it went. This was a path that went along the side of the river through town and came up and went down again as you crossed a few roads and there was even a tunnel that was about 40 meters long. Our Son took great delight in listening to his echo in the tunnel and it even had some nice graffiti in there. After we came out of the tunnel there was river crossing/bridge made out of buckets that had been filed with concrete and you stepped from one to the other in a normal walking pattern. We then came up to street level again and to our Sons delight, straight into a kids playground. After a play we went out of the park and into the main st where we say and old Anglican church and some other stone builds that looked very old. After a look around the main st we retraced our steps and and ended back at our motor home when we had some house keeping to attend to.

The gas heater had decided to stop working so I thought I would try and swap the gas bottles over which I did. After the gas hose was connected, I tried to turn the gas on at the bottle, but it would not budge. I went next door, as the business had a workshop, and borrowed a pair of multi grips and after getting a grip on it, it still would not turn. We had to go and fill up with fuel so I just filled the gas bottle up while we out and also picked up some more supplies from the local Countdown. We dumped the grey water from the motor home on our way back and we were ready to go the next day.

I went down and took some more sunset shots and kept an eye out for any blue eye penguins but it was too early for them. Time for tea and get ready ready to move.

Day 5

Off to Wanaka we go after getting some fresh foods from the shop and we have a choice of 2 routes to take. One is a less travelled, but more scenic and one the main route but not as good visually wise. But as the weather was still sketchy we decided to take the main route as it would have to be open as it was used by transport trucks and bus companies so it would be cleared of snow and gritted as soon as possible. Now if you don't know what grit is, it's not the American version of Grits but a rock substance that is sprinkled over the road after it has been ploughed of snow which aids in breaking up the ice that has built up under the snow over night. So as the cars and trucks drive over it, it breaks the ice and make the road more safe to drive on. Now it also does something else, it gets thrown at you when the traffic goes by you in the opposite direction and usually hits, or should I say chips your windscreen. We have cracked 2 windscreen in our rental motor homes since we started coming here in 2003 and they are around $1200.00 so make sure you take out the windscreen insurance if coming this time of year.

We drove what seemed to be hours and finally reached the highest point of the Lindis Pass at 971m above sea level and as usual we pulled over for a snow ball fight an take some pictures of the view. We shared the lookout with quite a few other travellers and we spoke to a Maori lady that was there with a friend from her town not 20 mins away that had just turned 50 and had never touched snow even though they were so close.

After a play in the snow we came down off the mountain and had lunch at a picnic area with stream near by which entertained our Son till I got lunch ready. After we cleaned up we headed for Wanaka and to find a snow a snow board rental place to get some gear for our Son who has been wanting to try it since his friend did. We parked up and wondered into town and found a place and got all the extra things he needed such as boots, helmet, goggles, snow pants and board pretty everything except a snow jacket. We then went to the booking office and arranged for a lesson and lift pass for him and find out what time the bus left the bottom car park for Cardrona.

We left town and stayed at the Albert Town campground which has flush toilets and is $20.00 a night with no power but all good as we have battery power and gas heating. We cooked dinner and tried to get our VERY exited little man to bed as we had an early start to drive to the car park and catch the first bus up at 8.30 so we had plenty of time for his 10.20 lesson.

Day 6 and 7 coming.

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