Saturday, January 23, 2010

Of pinics and things

 We went in search of sunshine. To find it we ventured over to Akaroa, one of the oldest settlements in Canterbury. Settled by the French, it has retained it's 'Frenchness'. The above is the view from the Hill Top looking over to the township. If you 'embiggen' the photos you should see things better. It takes about an hour and a half to get there from Christchurch, unless you have kids in the car with you who don't travel too well. A windy and steep road means frequent stops to ensure the back of your neck remains vomit free.

However, I did find this wee gem in the middle of almost nowhere. We stopped at Barry's Bay and bought some of their divine cheese (no Brie), and went to the waters edge for a picnic. Just by the turn off for French Farm, and excellent winery, we found a huge weeping willow tree complete with picnic table in it's shadey arms. Across the road is this place which I am sure Owen or Louciao can arm-wrestle for...

Meanwhile, in Akaroa harbour, these geese were out for a paddle.

Akaroa is a popular place for day trips as well as long term visitors, these girls were on a hen's weekend and decided to be a bit French!

This rather gorgeous old-style youth hostel is in need of some repairs - any volunteers?

And now, for those Kiwi's in far off lands who may or maynot be reading this, here are some photos to make you homesick. Typical summer in NZ is epitomised by the blooming Pohutukawa tree (also known as the New Zealand Christmas Tree) and standing hardy against the blue sky on this day...

Plus, the good old Mr Whippy ice-cream truck (another stalwart of Kiwi society)!

On the way out of town I stopped to take this photo of the local Police Station, Akaroa has retained it's French street names as well.

And at Little River, on the way home, I found this other prime piece of real estate which you can draw straws for.

It was fantastic to have some sunshine, today it is The Studs birthday and it's raining AGAIN and we have the fire burning. Go figure that for a Canterbury summer.


VioletSky said...

beautiful tree, the Pohutukawa, but where are the sheep?

louciao said...

Okay, this time I am getting that primo piece of real estate before BrOwen scoops it up. And yes please for the pretty pink hostel. Pierre is un 'andyman extraordinaire! Plus he will fit in perfectly with the Frenchiness of the area. Mais oui! Pourquoi pas?

Mr. Whippy??! Just what does he have stashed in the back of that ice-cream truck?? I'll have a fudgesicle and a cat o'nine tails please.

A happy birthday to the Stud! A cozy fire in the fireplace and a nice little snog doesn't sound too bad as birthdays go. (rumour has it that it's our brother's birthday sometime soon but he's being coy about just when. I guess he's afraid we'll give him the Royal Bumps!)

Will be back tomorrow for a more in-depth tour of the sites and sights, but off to bed now.

WV: dewoo
If you are good, the Stud may pitch you a bit of de woo.

Steve said...

I really appreciate your property searches on my behalf... any chance you could publish the prices too? ;-)

The Sagittarian said...

ah Violet, they were there in the hills and infact I nearly stopped to photograph a yard full of them but I didn't think anyone would want to see them...oops!

Louciao - haha, I never thought to ask for a Cat o' nine tails from Mr Whippy. I guess I just might next time...oh and I'm hoping de woo matches de wit!

Steve - I think some would be at a knock-down price for sure!

rb said...

Happy Birthday Mr Stud!

The countryside is very beautiful - rather like Wales really. But less wet. The buildings are rather prettier though -none of that bleak grey slate you get in Wales.

The weather just sounds British! Hope it stays good for the birthday at any rate.

A Write Blog said...

One day I'd love to visit New Zealand.

It seems to combine the best of the UK countryside with about a quarter - or less - of the people.

louciao said...

I came back for a more leisurely tour and embiggened everything I could lay my hands on! It was very gratifying.
What a swell place!

Owen said...

Oh jeez, who does that sister Louciao think she is, laying claims to things before I could even get here to put in a word or two ??? Oh boy, we may just have to arm wrestle if it comes to that, I'm not sure drawing straws is going to work, to much of an element of chance in that...


Gorgeous documentary post sister Saj, ice cream truck and all... you really know how to make some folks want to seriously think about moving to New Zealand. I think it is terribly unfair that we don't have several lifetimes to live, each in a different place... I think I would have been a good New Zealander... If only the kiwi I met once long ago had put her hooks in me, she could have dragged me all the way there, no problem, at the time, I was ready to go... that was before I fell in love with France... oh well, such is fate...

Now, where was I, oh yeah, Lynne, maybe we could build a duplex out of the cabin, and we could all live there, one big happy family... what do you say ?

louciao said...

Owen: No way! I saw it first! My wv is "neastais" which is "nasty" said with attitude. I think living cheek by jowl in a duplex situation would be "neastais!"

Saj, what do you think? Can you find us all a number of properties so that we can circulate from one to the other, including regular stops by your bunny hutch for tipple toppers?

I think moving to NZ would be the opposite of neastais. It would be suhweet!

Meggie said...

Happy Birthday to the Stud!
I remember those surly Summers. I love to visit Akaroa, & have some lovely memories of the Hill Top Hotel.
I saw my first ever snow on the road to Akaroa.

日月神教-向左使 said...