"" Writer's Wanderings: New Zealand Diary - Arrowtown

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

New Zealand Diary - Arrowtown

Sunday, October 27, 2013

There is often payback for feeling smug which is what I was when everyone reported the early snowfall back home. We awake this morning to not rain, but snow! Great big flakes of snow. When we look up to the mountains behind the motel we can see the dark pine trees are dusted white. I’d like to say it’s pretty but not if I have to be out in it.

During breakfast we explore our options. Certainly we don’t want to try the gondola again today. We can still visit historic Arrowtown which is just a half hour away. It’s not snowing enough to make the roads bad. And then I’ve found a church nearby that we can go to this morning. We haven’t had the opportunity to go to a worship service since we started this trip because we’ve always been on the road. It’s quickly settled.  We decide to have a second cup of my good plunger coffee and go to the Presbyterian Church around the corner at 10:45 then on to Arrowtown if the weather holds.

It is a great service. A little church like ours back home with very friendly people—even a couple of people there who are from Arkansas we connect with. The service is over by noon and we walk out to a drier day. The snow has stopped and there’s no rain. We set Lady Garmon for Arrowtown.

Arrowtown has only a couple of streets but they are lined with buildings from the mid 1800s to the early 1900s. The buildings now all house restaurants and shops and a museum or two. We find a nice pub that offers a large tomato soup for me and seafood chowder for Bob for a good price and we enjoy lunch.

By the time we finish, not only is the rain completely done but the sun is out! We pop in and out of some of the shops and look over the historic buildings. At one end of the town is an old settlement where once there was a group of Chinese who were invited to come to seek their fortunes in the gold fields. Between the late 1860s to 1880, many Chinese immigrants set up camps and settlements such as this one in Arrowtown and abandoned them when the gold ran out.  

The little homes that are left are smaller than the apartment sized room we are staying in. I smile when I see a preserved outhouse with a historical sign posted on it. Unfortunately as we get half way through the tiny settlement, it begins to rain and we hurriedly see the remaining buildings and hustle back to where we are parked. But we are content that we spent the sunshine hours doing some sightseeing and enjoying a good part of the day.
Back at the apartment, we get out the dining pamphlets we’ve collected for Queenstown and find a spot for dinner—another pub. After a few hours of relaxing and warming up again, we set out for the Pub on the Wharf. The pub is crowded, probably because the prices are good, and we have a hard time finding a seat. We finally ask a couple that is sitting at a larger table if we can join them. They are on a short holiday from Christchurch. This is Labor Day Weekend in New Zealand and many have Monday off. We get some great suggestions on places to eat and see for the rest of our trip. We offer suggestions for their anticipated trip to the States—the most obvious being, drive on the right side of the road.

My sweet sticky pork ribs are great and Bob enjoys lamb again. The man just can’t seem to get his fill of it. After dinner, we take a walk through a pedestrian area of Queenstown and note that the city is mostly a place of restaurants small shops and the ever-present booking agent who insists it’s not raining too much for bungee jumping and no one is too old to enjoy it. Sure. We’ll think about it on our way out of town tomorrow morning.

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