Across the shaky bridge

(0 Kms)

Monday, 18 Jan, 2016


Today was a complete rest day - as in no cycling at all. We all took advantage of this and slept in till at least 9am. Despite the noise from the building site next door, the kids didn't emerge until 9.30. A leisurely start meant a leisurely breakfast and Simon cooked up some excellent bacon and eggs. There was an amazing choice of bacon at the supermarket. We had smoked shoulder bacon and it was delicious.

After two cups of coffee and time to read our books, we summoned up the energy to walk to the local information centre and museum. After browsing for a while, it became apparent that the overcast day was going to develop into rain at any minute, so we hurried back to move our washing under cover.

We ventured out again to the supermarket where we debated the merits of various stir fry and curry sauces before selecting a few to ensure at least some variety of flavours on the next leg of our ride. From experience we knew that the local Four Square supermarkets would carry only the basics, and leave room for little choice beyond whether there was any fresh meat or not. At least we could now turn any meat into a curry.

Exciting times at the supermarket

The kids made the most of the selection, stocking up on bagels, of which there is an incredible range compared to back home. We decided to make pizzas for lunch as a change from sandwiches and just the thing for a cold, drizzly day.

By late afternoon the weather cleared and warmed up, so we headed off to the Shaky Bridge en route to the famous Alexandra clock which is built high on a cliff overlooking the town, and which we could see clearly from the house. The Shaky Bridge was an old wooden structure that was actually less shaky than some of the suspension bridges we had crossed on our bikes.

Derek's day out

Shaky Bridge

We were keen to discover why someone would want to build a clock, but the information board did not provide any insight. Rather we learnt about the mechanics of building the clock. We had been warned about the graffiti on the clock, and sure enough the lower levels were covered in it. The clock looked far better from a distance than close up, but the views across the town were amazing.

The famous Alexandra Clock

Alexandra from the clock

We wandered down, and Jonno headed straight home to do his maths homework. We chose to meander back via the rail trail, to get our bearings for the ride out tomorrow.

At the clock

Back at the house we enjoyed the last of our beers, Monteiths summer ale, an interesting beer made with a touch of ginger and honey. Very refreshing and a better choice than our Queenstown selection. The wines however have been consistently excellent, and we have stuck with the local Pinot noir and Pinot Gris. If only they were all this good back home!