Archive | January, 2016

Breath-taking Vistas Everywhere!

11 Jan

Today is Day #5 for Hubby and me on our NZ adventure.  Mother Nature has certainly been on our side, and blessed us with brilliant sunshine almost continuously.  I’m feeling thankful that I brought the #45 sunscreen.  We have been on some terrific bike rides to stretch our legs and justify an extra glass of NZ wine.

View of Mt. Cook from Lake Pukaki

View of Mt. Cook from Lake Pukaki

On our way from Lake Tekapo to Oamaru, we cycled part of the Alps2Ocean trail, taking in the surreal vistas from the shores of Lake Pukaki.  The water colour of this glacier-fed lake is pale aqua, a stark contrast to the browns and greys of the surrounding hills.  With a view of Mt. Cook in the background, it is breath-taking.

Cycling has not been our only form of calorie-burning.  We have also enjoyed some fabulous hiking.

View from the top of Mt. John at lake Tekapo

View from the top of Mt. John at Lake Tekapo

In Lake Tekapo, we tested our lung capacity and quads by hiking the short trail (same elevation change but shorter distance) to the peak of Mt. John for a 360° panoramic view of the Canterbury Plains. It was worth the effort!  Today we got our workout by walking around the city of Dunedin, New Zealand’s equivalent to San Francisco as far as steep roads go.  We decided that walking the streets would be safer than cycling them – I’m not sure the brakes on my rental bicycle could handle the pitch of these roads.

I managed to squeeze in a couple of quilt shop stops.  On the way from Christchurch to Lake Tekapo, we stopped at The Tin Pin in Geraldine to say hi to shop owner Lisa Nelson.

Lisa Nelson of The Tin Pin in Geraldine

Lisa Nelson of The Tin Pin in Geraldine

She has a terrific shop on the main street, and a terrific attitude to boot!

Today, on our stroll through Dunedin, we stopped in to see Sue at Threads Needle Craft.  In addition to quilting fabrics, she also stocks other needle arts supplies.

Sue at Threads Needle Craft in Dunedin

Sue at Threads Needle Craft in Dunedin

Interestingly, both women fold their bolts of fabric into 11” wide bolts instead of the 22” wide size that I am accustomed to seeing.  Both shops had a selection of NZ themed fabrics, perfect for souvenirs, don’t you think?

Tomorrow promises to be another activity-filled day, with hikes to Mt. Cargill and the Otago Peninsula, before we head down to Invercargill at the south end of NZ. If the sunny weather holds, it will be the longest day of our trip, with 15 ½ hours of daylight.  Such a treat compared to our Canadian winters!

Until then,



My New Adventure Begins…

7 Jan

Fellow Quilters,

Hubby and I embarked on a wonderful adventure today.  We kissed our beloved Canadian winter goodbye and spent 27 hours to get to Christchurch NZ.  We left frigid temperatures yesterday, and arrived in the garden capital of NZ today.  Here are a couple of pictures of the beautiful hydrangeas and hollyhock in the gardens at the hotel that is our home for the next couple of days.  DSCF1468DSCF1467We rented bicycles for our trip, and quickly jumped on them this afternoon to alleviate the issues associated with a 27-hour trip (lack of exercise!).  NZ is a great country for cyclists, and Christchurch fits right in, with bike lanes on most of the roads.  Christchurch is known as the garden city in NZ, for it is lush and green.  This is in stark contrast to the view from our airplane window as we travelled from Auckland to Christchurch this morning – it was mostly mountainous, with very little sign of life.  We toured the downtown area of Christchurch today, including the areas devastated by the earthquake in 2010, then further damaged by the numerous after-shocks in following months.  Here is a picture in Container CityDSCF1460I can only imagine what Christchurch looked like before the massive earthquake.  After riding around for a few hours today, the only thing Hubby and I need to get used to is riding on the left side of the road, opposite North American driving practices.  While driving the car today, Hubby turned the windshield wipers on several times in an attempt to put the turn signals on.  Hopefully in 2 more days, he will be thinking “left” instead of “right”.

Time to call it a day – the jet-lag is setting in.  Tomorrow will be another busy day, including a longer bike ride and perhaps a visit to Art of Sewing, the local quilt shop.

Until then, Cheers!