|Fog & hot air balloons over Michael Hill's golf course.|
Our ten days in Arrowtown flew by. We worked hard painting the house and enjoyed delicious meals and comfortable living in exchange.
Our hosts Paula & Bede were very nice, and one particularly memorable afternoon was spent driving up the river in search of gold. I felt like we were in a truck commercial when Bede told us to roll up the windows and plunged the ute into a deep ford, water sloshing up around the cab as we bounced over rocks in the riverbed. We zigzagged our way down the river, eventually finding a good spot to pan.
Once again, sandflies made lunch of me, but it was still fun. Sam saved every speck of gold we found in a little jar. He's determined to use them to make rings for us, even if he has to find the gold grain by grain.
With the house painted, we rode away in search of the West Coast. We stopped in Cromwell and bought some homemade jam, then Wanaka for a picnic lunch. A brief stop at Lake Hawea north of Wanaka made us wish we had picnicked there instead.
The guys entertained themselves skipping rocks until I pulled them away, insisting we really should go because we had a lot left to see. In the photo below, Harrison has just performed the best rock skip I've ever seen, with nearly ten skips before the rock split, each piece continuing to skip in Y formation.
We cut through the Southern Alps towards Haast, our first destination on the West Coast. Just outside of Haast, we took our first look at the Tasman Sea from the South Island.
Hello, West Coast!