Local Heart, Global Soul

July 9, 2018

Ugly Or Beautiful?

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Following yesterday’s post: the first part of our trip south from Blenheim, New Zealand at the end of December 2017 was generally smooth.

Large scale on-going road works after the massive quake here back in November 2016 of course in many places necessitating waiting our turn in single lane sections and driving slowly past repairs of all varieties.

The Marlbourgh vineyards are all around us in this area so bare hills for grazing mix with patches of vines.

We pass by the historic bridge, and yet again tell each other that one day we will stop and find out what makes it special.

Needless to say we haven’t actually done it so far. Traffic is light and we like to take our time.

I have fond memories of bare golden tussock-covered hills just like these from Otago, so for me these hills are amazingly beautiful, and not “ew ugly” as my children so kindly expressed their opinions.

Our appreciation of the landscape may differ but for me at least, hills like these with glimpses of the towering Southern Alps behind them, are a true sign that I am “home”.

Ugly Or Beautiful? You decide.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

July 8, 2018

Blenheim: Motel 171, For Some The Beds Are Almost Too Comfortable…

Filed under: Accomodation,BLENHEIM,NEW ZEALAND,PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Locating our hotel in Blenheim New Zealand took a tad longer then we intended. We were tired and didn’t follow directions quickly enough, but found our hotel after a more roundabout route.

It’s just as well that Our Lady of The Tom Tom resets itself and gives us new directions to get to our destinations because Himself doesn’t like making U turns. We arrived at Blenheim’s “Motel 171 on High (street)” in the sunshine of a fabulous summer’s evening.

Donna, the lady owner was in the office  and amazingly friendly: we asked directions to anywhere where we might be able to buy milk at nine at night so that fussy Little Mr could have a drink that he liked and she said we would have a difficult job, and then without pausing gave us two extra packages (each pack held about one glassful) with no extra charge.

Little Mr. showed his delight by downing one of the packets on the spot. This hotel might be a little further from the main road but the upside is that it is quiet and parking is easy.

We have two separate rooms, Himself and I have a double, the kids have a room with a double and a three-quarter extra bed. Little Mr. wanted the smaller bed which was perfect because Kiwi Daughter quickly bagged the double… phew no squabbles.

Kiwi Daughter and Himself went out to find us a takeaway dinner, Little Mr. helped me sort things from the bags and then we chilled out in my room channel hopping with the TV. It was very warm and there is no air conditioning but our hosts have put fans into the rooms.

We found that the temperature dropped just enough once the sun set that the fan was fine, we didn’t need it any colder, just to have the air circulating was enough. What suits us may not suit everyone however. Air conditioning was something the hotel was working on though and it’s not like it’s a standard thing in New Zealand hotels anyway, especially in older buildings.

One thing that we especially liked here was that we were asked for a few of our breakfast presences: which cereal we wanted, which we wanted of the fruits they had for instance, and then covered plates with everything were prepared on trays and put into our fridges with the milk and juice.

Tea and coffee making facilities were already in the rooms so we could wake up at leisure and have breakfast when we wanted, no rushing to get dressed and out to a breakfast room. If you like having breakfast in bed in your pj’s before you head to the shower then this kind of arrangement is perfect. As an especially early riser, Himself likes that he/we could breakfast as early as we wanted. No waiting around impatiently for set breakfast hours. He likes to let breakfast settle before hitting the road, we both like the absence of mad rush in a dining room, especially when there are crutches involved. There are definite bonuses to this system.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

There is even a laundry room here with washing machine and dryer, excellent if you are travelling for longer and need clean clothes.

The sun is shining and it’s a beautiful day. I push myself out of bed and nibble the last of my breakfast and sip tea whilst sorting out my suitcase and clothes for the day and pottering around.

Himself goes next door to the kid’s room to prod them both out of bed. Kiwi Daughter is very comfortable and most unwilling to wake up.

Mumbles of “Go Away” are eventually replaced with “Just ten more minutes” (half a dozen times).

Eventually everyone else has bags packed and in the car and she is barely awake and not even dressed. Himself applies pressure (“do you want to walk to Christchurch?”) and then a few stern words.

Our unwilling child grumbles and orders everyone out so she can get dressed. After ten minutes we knock to check how she is doing and the cheeky imp has rolled over and is sleeping.

Very stern words ensue. Grumbling girl gets ready. Eventually our straggler is ready-ish, and emerges with a suitcase which,  even though it is closed has parts of clothes sticking out which got  shoved unceremoniously into the back of the car by Himself.  Now  we can continue our journey down the coast. Judging by the earlier rapid emptying of the car park the other guests also had the idea to get an early start. Being one of the last to leave, our exit was not an early one but the day is glorious so in the grand scheme of things it will not matter. An excellent stay and now time to hit the road. I took photographs both in the evening and in the morning, which is why the sign says both “vacancy” and ‘no Vacancy”.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

July 7, 2018

Flying Past A Bird Mural…

Filed under: ART,BLENHEIM,Mural,NEW ZEALAND,PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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Driving through Blenheim in the north of the South Island of New Zealand, I see this mural from the car. We were busy finding our way to our hotel so didn’t stop, and I thought we might return this way the next morning but it turned out we took the “scenic route” to the hotel that evening and managed a more efficient way out of town the next morning. The mural depicts some of New Zealand’s well known native birds. We will no doubt be back here on a future visit so I hope to update these photographs with some more detailed ones then.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

July 6, 2018

Blenheim In The Early Evening…

Filed under: BLENHEIM,NEW ZEALAND,PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , ,

Arriving in Blenheim late in the early evening we find most businesses closed for the day and realised that the chances of finding a restaurant open are looking slim. We are more than happy to look for a snack bar though, but first we want to find our hotel and unload the bags from the car…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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