Tuesday 30 April 2024

Last post was autumn leaves, this one...

 is mountains and snow...

Wanaka is a beaut place, and it is impressive as it is pretty much surrounded by mountains.

The view from our site at Mt Aspiring Holiday Park - hills at the front, mountains at the rear.
Definitely mountains

I took this shot from outside the camp - across the road is a stables: what a fabulous location with the view of those mountains and the lake right in front of the property.


The cold snap started while we were there - mostly lovely sunny days but really chilly overnight. On our last 2 nights there it was particularly cold so the first snow of the winter appeared on the mountains. Gosh, that is magic!

We had a few days in Wānaka, most of it blobbing or doing a bit of walking.

We did part of the Outlet Walk from the lake into the river - or vice versa, I'm not sure but the water was flowing upstream as we walked beside the river. The walk had to be abandoned on two counts:

  • we thought we had the walking boots in the mh because David couldn't see them in the wardrobe at home and I didn't look. But they are not with us. And the shoes I was wearing were not that good for longer treks;
  • there were cyclists and the path was quite narrow and it was nerve-wracking worrying about who would have to lurch over to the steep slope down to the river ...
Mountains, lake...
High hills and lake, mountain in the distance.
Poplars on the river-edge
Trees are resilient and adaptive. Clearly this tree needed to grow almost lying down, so it did.
The view up the river - still a pretty wide expanse of water and it was fast moving.
The roots of this tree needed to spread out to get a good grip, so they did.
A lot of autumn leaves with the lovely David

So of course, I had to find some better walking shoes. We first tried the shop Go Outdoors where the young woman suggested a pair of shoes with a drop forward sole. I tried them on and they felt wonderful - no upward pressure on the tops of my toes. 

My old shoes went into David's backpack and I wore the new ones out of the shop. Since then, they have only come off my feet for going to bed or into the shower. And I have ordered two more pairs online - they have been sent home.

One morning, when it was particularly cold and bleak outside and we had designated it a blobbing day, I made cheese scones. We had saved the out of date milk to use - waste not, want not remember: I am the child of parents who were children during the Depression. The milk was well on its way to becoming cottage cheese, but in the scone mix it went. Not a good plan, people! I think it made the mixture too gluggy and they didn't rise as much as they should have and they didn't brown on top. So I had to flip them over - and they flattened out a bit. They still tasted good, but they certainly weren't of a standard to share. My reputation as a baker of world famous cheese scones would have been shot to pieces!

Late-ish one afternoon a young couple arrived and parked on a site one over from us. We chatted and found out they are living in Darwin. Amit loves to trek, as Yash calls it. And the next morning they were getting up really early to go and climb Roy's Peak to be there when the sun rose. I admired their passion, but did not want to emulate it...

I heard them leave very quietly when it was still very dark the next morning. And it was very cold - I could tell: my nose was not warm as it poked out above the duvet...

When they arrived back later that day, they said it had been magic. Yash said in the first half hour, she did wonder about going back to the camper to go to bed, but was very pleased that Amit dragged her on. Apparently, while they were standing in the dawn's light, it started to snow. Amit told me there were other much higher mountains that they could see from where they were - not surprising, as Wānaka is ringed with them.

That day we had decided that we really should go for a walk - I know we are old, but Amit and Yash had put us to shame! So we headed out of the camp and along the road until we came to Waterfall Creek Road, and headed down to the lake. 

Along the road towards Glendhu and Mt Aspiring - mountains...
Down the road to Waterfall Creek and the lake - and mountains
And guess what - mountains...
In this region, if it's not mountains, it's vineyards, and often both ...
Or vineyards and hills... David insisted on this shot because of being able to see up the rows. Pretty cool, eh?
Did I mention it had been cold overnight and snow had fallen on the tops?


Then it was back along the lake track, until we met a couple and their lovely labrador, Milly, coming down a pathway by a vineyard. Yes, we could get back to the road that way. So off we went.

Now isn't that a view you would never tire of? Different in every season and all weathers.
David's arty shot - he liked the different colours on the one tree.

It was far further back to the road than we had thought, and much of it was uphill. Bill's Way should be re-named Hill's Way, I think. Or Bill's Hill. Or Billy Hilly.

It was getting late in the afternoon and it was getting appreciably colder. That snow added to the sense of chill.

But it's those little unexpected detours and off-piste routes that are such a delight when in an unfamiliar place.

Yash and Amit as we were getting ready to head away. Lovely people and we hope to see them again, when they make the trip to the North Island before too long. If we go to Darwin to visit, it will have to be in winter when it's below 25 deg...
Public hugging 💚

The next day we were heading on our way to Alexandra but stopped to take photos of the mountains across the lake.

More snow overnight - taken from just outside the camp.

And there was a bit of last minute supermarketting to do. And as we walked along the lakefront where we had parked the motorhome, who should we see but Milly and her humans. They mentioned that their daughter had also climbed Roy's Peak the day before. Apparently the path to the top is 8kms! Yash and Amit, you are champions!

On the right of the photo is Roy's Peak - 1578 metres, i.e. 5177 feet. Note that Mt Snowdon is only 1085m... No wonder the British have a strange view of what constitutes a mountain... And no wonder we say nah, that's not a mountain, it's just a hill...

Yep, more snow

There were several more mountain and early snow photos, but I know I am trying your patience, so I will stop!

FYI, Irene, we failed to take up your challenge to go to Puzzling World - I think the day we could have gone was very cold, and David would have had to lie on the ground and lift the stabilisers. I couldn't be that mean... After all, you and Ian would have given me a very hard time if I had, now wouldn't you? Be honest!

Before we left the environs of Wānaka we had to search for a shirt for David. Somehow his packing only took account of 7kg of hand luggage for our 5 day trip to Sydney, so he had brought 3 shirts with him, and only 1 of them had long sleeves, and here we are down in the deep south and winter is approaching... And we are away from home for 6 weeks. And we are going to a posh lodge for a couple of nights ...

So I informed him he needs at least one more long sleeved shirt. Well, talk about a fuss. So we had to find a cheap long sleeved shirt. Wānaka is not really the place for cheap, so we headed out to the new Warehouse. They had $20 shirts but they were in checked fabric, and David declared they looked like pyjamas. Not surprising he felt that way, as he has a fabulous range of shirts at home and none of them could be mistaken for PJs! So we looked at a couple of other shops out there, but they were PJ style too and much more expensive. He even tried a women's linen shirt but nope and it was too dear. And too long (my call) and it would have looked crappily unironed within 5 minutes because it was linen. So we left Wānaka without a shirt, but he did buy two $8 caps** at The Warehouse... The shirt saga would have to be continued in another town.

** caps and hats got left behind in Waikanae by both of us ...

In my last blog I complained about my sore right shoulder and neck, and lovely Irene commented with websites for me to check out (I did). And our friend Di (of Luke and Di) checked them out and also texted me to say I should consider acupuncture. I can report that my neck is much better and so is my shoulder (I haven't had to take ibuprofen for several days now) - the two sources of the pain are connected. I realised two things:

  • I've been developing OOS (occupational overuse syndrome) except it's not occupational because I'm retired. But I use my phone far too much holding it with just my right hand and I type and scroll with my thumb. 
    • I remember way back (when Sarah and I were developing a Guide to Occupational Safety and Health (GOSH) booklet as part of the training material for Social Welfare staff back in the late 1980s and early 1990s, one of the main causes we noted for OOS was not so much repetitive actions but performing them while holding the surrounding/connected muscles and joints still.
    • And that's what I do: my forearm and upper arm and shoulder and neck are all still while my hand and wrist are respectively holding and supporting the phone and my thumb is the only piece of me that is moving. Try it yourself if you don't believe me. Feel how the muscle in your forearm moves when you stretch your thumb across the phone screen, notice how still the rest of your arm is and your shoulder and neck. Now do the same thing lying on your back with your hand raised so you can see the screen... See why my shoulder and neck were suffering?
  • David had been massaging my shoulder and upper arm and my neck and it felt really nice and a fair bit painful, but it wasn't dealing with the root cause. So I had to stop using the phone while holding it - now I mostly use it with it sitting on the table, if at all possible. That way I can type with my forefinger and that involves movement of large muscle groups of my arm - I'm not stabbing the phone, by the way, but I'm not holding my hand and wrist still to type. 
    • The second thing I realised when the massage wasn't doing as much good as I'd hoped was that trigger point therapy was probably what I needed, and I needed to dig hard into the muscles and tendons under my arm, actually in the armpit. The first time an osteopath did it to me was back in Charlbury, Oxfordshire in the UK, and I seem to remember levitating off the table with a really loud yell...
    • Shit, it hurts! But the method is to do it 6 times and day for 30 seconds at a time. And after a couple of days my shoulder stopped seizing, the pain lessened, and has continued to do so.
    • The good thing is, I can do that therapy anywhere, even while I am waiting at traffic lights - not in the mh shower though because there's not enough hot water not to be actively washing ... And I can now do it without looking like I am being tortured!
    • I can even lie in bed with my right hand under my head now - and that was impossible. And (look away now if you are sensitive) I can even do up my bra behind my back without grimacing in pain.
    • It's still not 100% right, but it's well on the way.
This is the lazy susan that Salvi has made for us. Isn't it beautiful? Isn't he clever? When we get together in Waikawa Bay before we head back to Waikanae, we (Salvi and Ann, David and I) are going to test it with poppadoms and naans and chutneys and dips...

1 comment:

Jenny said...

Wanaka certainly is a lovely place, although it's been a while since we last visited. Lovely photos.