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A Decade Today - Retrospective

Sun, September 23, 2001 09:12:11
Vintage Car
B is a vintage car enthusiast, and owns a 1935 Singer which he restored. I’m about to get a ride in it; should be quite fun.

Sun, September 23, 2001 10:45:59
Indeed. We rode over to the Heritage Park for Blenheim, where B showed my old tractors (many older than my own Harrison Ford 8N, though there is at least one N series in the restored building, and another Fordson listed as an N series which could be, in a British Dominion country). His vintage car club meets there as well, also a woodworkers club and an outdoor model railroad (steam), two gauges of track.

The Singer is quite nice, gauges need a touch of work (according to B, primarily the cables, not the gauges), no syncromesh gearbox, so double clutching is required. He has up-graded to 12 volt electrical, but done so in a manner to appear proper vintage. I’ve two or three photos of the car, one with B in it, and a fourth of ‘Bertie the Bear’ mascot in the back seat.

Sun, September 23, 2001 17:54:46
Blenheim to Kaikoura

We made our fare wells with B, C, and Fenton about 11:20 heading south on Highway 1, our spirits greatly uplifted by our pleasant stay at Opawa Lodge. Today we resolved to see if it is possible for us to actually make a drive between points on the map at the written estimated times.

Our very first stop came rather soon, a small spot called Cobb Cabin or possibly Cob Cabin, since one of the letters ‘b’ was covered on the sign. This is a small household set up in the manner of a settler’s homestead, unfortunately closed. We did peek in through the curtains.
Then we rolled on, underneath the railroad on a one-lane bridge across the Awatere River, past the saltworks at Lake Grassmere, and on to the coastline. We persevered as long as we could and did not stop until we reached Kekerengu. Here we walked on the beach to bid hail and farewell to the Kekerengu River as it emptied into the Pacific Ocean.

On the road again, eager and resolved to reach Kaikoura as quickly as we could. Through Clarence, past Waipapa Bay, past Okiwi Bay, past Paparoa Point... not. Paparoa Point called to us and off the highway we turned into a picnic area. Here Herself explored the tide pool fauna while I clambered over and around the rocks, photographing the surf breaking on the outer rocks. And the waterfall, mustn’t forget the waterfall coming off of Jacob’s Ladder.


Jacob's Ladder


We tore ourselves from the Paparoa rocks renewing our resolve to eat up the kilometers quickly. Whales offshore of Kaikoura called to us. Onward past Ohau Point, around Half Moon Bay, and left into another picnic area. Here a family groomed their Shetland ponies before loading them into their horse float. That had been our ostensible reason for stopping, but once again we took to climbing on the rocks, looking in the tide pools until...

We saw the seal. We walked within two or three meters of him (we presume a him, though that matters most to other seals) where he lay sprawled on a smooth section of rock, sunbathing. Seal proved more or less unimpressed by the two-legged visitors, rather busily snapping his portrait, and merely rolled over.


Seal


I walked around that spot out further along that rock another five meters and stopped. In my peripheral vision lay another seal, rather smaller than the first and also blithely unaware of my presence interrupting his nap. He remained unaware until my shutter went ‘click’ at which point he initiated a rude commentary about two-leg visitors interrupting nap-time. Ah well.

Apparently not being welcome, we soon departed and managed to continue the next 10 minutes into Kaikoura without any further interruptions. Blenheim to Kaikoura estimated driving time (per our map) is one hour fifty minutes. We arrived at the White Morph at 15:15 (I’d say 15:15:15, but must admit I didn’t note the seconds), total travel time three hours, fifty-five minutes.
Perhaps I’ll make this a New Year’s resolution, to make my driving trips in New Zealand within the estimated time. It should be easy to accomplish in 2002.

Retrospective
I've researched Opawa Lodge with an eye to putting a link here if they proved still in business. They are, perhaps, however from the trail I followed B & C sold the place several years back, and it may be serving as family residence and lodging for college students. Or simply lodging for college students. If the latter, they've got quite nice digs.

The White Morph is still in business and we recommend it, particularly the restaurant. On another hand, looking at their photographs posted to their site, they've renovated since we were there. I do not see the characteristic windows of the room where we stayed, which was right up front, bay view.

Using Herself's PC to post this, still not sorted out the problem with my monitor. Truly, the feedback so far is replacement. And I'm postponing that for a bit to both determine is there someplace brave enough that works on monitors. Annoying as it is, they really are looking like disposable items.

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