18 March 2012

Invercargill to Orepuki

Munro Special

If you've ever seen the film The World's Fastest Indian, you will have heard about Burt Munro and his customized motorcycle that crossed the world to set speed records that still stand today. Burt built his masterpiece in his shed in Invercargill, New Zealand, and some of his bikes and parts are on display in the local hardware store.

Munro Special

Part museum, part store, E. Hayes & Sons advertises itself as a "great place to lose your man for an hour." Aside from Burt Munro's creations, the store has other classic motorcycles and cars as well as a few old lathes and other machinery. Needless to say, Sam was in heaven.

Offerings to the God of Speed

Old motorcycle

While in Invercargill, we stayed at Sparky's Backpackers, a colorful and quirky hostel. The hostel has a few props from The World's Fastest Indian, and we found ourselves in the common room on more than one occasion watching the film with other travelers. We even got to try Sparky's famous chocolate cake.

In exchange for our stay, we fixed up a few rooms in the back of the hostel, adding trim, painting walls and refinishing doors. While we worked, Sam and Harry joked back and forth in their "bumpkin" voices, to Sparky's great amusement. By the end of the week, Sparky asked them to do a radio ad for the hostel in character. It was definitely one of the neater HelpX jobs we've come across!

Sam & Harry in the studio

The ad will be running 16-25 March on Classic Hits Radio in the Queenstown area. If you're not in Queenstown, you can listen to the commercial here.

Giant paua shell

We took the scenic route out of Invercargill, stopping when we found a giant paua (abalone) shell made of actual paua. I love huge roadside attractions. We also went to Gemstone Beach in Orepuki, and though I found no garnets, I did find a few nice rocks. The cliffs reminded me of New Mexico, except for the fact that they overlooked the ocean.

Orepuki cliffs

Gemstone Beach fort

I found what looked like a kids' fort embedded in one of the eroding cliffs, though when I peeked in the windows, it looked to be attached to an actual house. I decided I probably shouldn't try to go in.

Gemstone Beach
The orange iron deposits and dark grey sand made some beautiful color combinations.

With a few extra stones in my pocket, we left Gemstone Beach in search of mountains.

No comments: