Tasmania & New Zealand 2014 travel blog

Akaroa harbor

This tree (Norfolk Island Pine?) has Christmas lights, and a natural star...


Akaroa beach was littered with shells

Brown hills above Lake Tekapo. Check tomorrow's photos

This morning, while stowing things for travel, a bracket broke. It is needed to hold the table leg in place. So I called back to Christchurch, and arranged to bring it in this afternoon. We needed to go back by Christchurch today anyway, so it was not a huge detour.

First, however, we drove down to town and took a walk through Akaroa. It is a very small town dependent on tourists, so it had the usual shops and restaurants. A cruise ship was in the harbour, so there were plenty of customers.

We were watching the harbor when we saw a man doing something peculiar. He was standing on a column of water – and not just at the surface but 10 feet above the surface at times. It was like a jet pack, or like Rocket Man, but with water as the propulsive force. We saw the equipment later, when he came ashore: there was a pair of “ski-boots” on a small board with nozzles, and a hose that went to a nearby jet-ski. The water pushed out by the jet-ski went to the “shoe-board” where it was directed downward, and the force generated by the water push lifted the flyboarder. Balancing and controlling it appeared to be quite a trick, and he spent nearly as much time in the water as balanced on his column. When he came out we went to talk to him, and learned what he was doing is called flyboarding (We did not make up the name!) Neither of us had ever seen anything like this. It was spectacular, but it did not inspire either of us to ask for a trial run.

The beach was covered with thousands of shells, many of them in very good condition, so I collected a few. Not sure what they are called.

Then it was back to Christchurch, where our bracket was replaced quickly, some advice was sought and given about driving an underpowered diesel (which is “driving” Larry crazy), and we were back on the road. This region is called Canterbury, and it is pretty flat near Christchurch, then we rose through hills with some crops, some pastures with sheep and cattle, and at least one with deer.

We ended up at Lake Tekapo about 5 pm. We landed in a park with another beautiful view, this time of the lake. We cooked sausages for supper and had them with warmed sliced bread, cheese, tomato wedges, and berry-flavored yogurt. Tonight we also decided to try an unpowered site, so we will have lights off the secondary battery but no electrical outlet. We are off the grid! We’ll see how that works, and how long that lasts.

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