The last day of a visit is always a bit clunky.
There are bags to be packed, and insufficient time to do any of the great things that are on offer in the adventure capital of the country. On the other hand, my need for adventure is small anyway. I had to drop Andrew off at a work function while Mary and Abbey took Otis for a swimming lesson, so on a perfect Central Otago day I had an hour to spare and a car at my disposal.
I went to Thurlby Domain and revisited the ruins of the grand old homestead.
All too soon we were airborne, and passing over Lake Hayes Estate. As a suburb, it is still pretty new, and as yet there are neither shops nor schools, and its inhabitants have to drive in to Remarkables Park shopping centre at Frankton, some 8.5 km away. These things will come.
The ATR does not reach great altitude, so apart from the slightly opaque windows, offers a good sightseeing platform. The great braided rivers of the South Island are very impressive from up there, and I think this one is the Rakaia River.
Soon we were on the approach to Christchurch across the exquisite quilt that is South Canterbury.
We were travelling on opportunistic cheap fares so had to wait a while in Christchurch. Then we were taken on an Airbus A320 configured for international flights, being repositioned for its duties the next day. All very fine, especially the complimentary wines and snacks, and it is no mean feat to serve 168 passengers on a flight that lasts a mere 35 minutes. It was well done.
In the few days we had been away, Wellington Airport had been adorned with another of the mighty “Hobbit” sculptures from Weta Workshops. This time it is Gandalf on the back of the Eagle lord, Gwaihir and another eagle. They are enormous, perhaps scary to children and superbly done.
Back to earth now