The Enzed odyssey continues at long last… The 4 hour drive from Dunedin to Arrowtown was fairly uneventful. (Well the first 3.5 hours were very uneventful and the last 0.5 very eventful, so that’s on average.) It felt so nice to be in the country again. We stopped for munchies in Milton and saw farmers politely removing muddy gumboots before doing the shopping, and the traffic included utes, quadbikes and logging trucks. Campervans too; they’re known locally as “road maggots”, partly because they are white and teem in large numbers on Kiwi roads this time of year, and partly because of the disgusting ‘freedom camping’ habits of some of their drivers.
Every second car has a roofrack, and the skis and snowboards of winter are swapped for pushbikes and kayaks. New Zealand is especially awesome in summer – everyone wants to be outside, everything’s warm and green and buzzing, and the lovely crisp country air carries only the faintest whiff of sheep poo.
Our favourite route to Queenstown/Arrowtown is State Highway 8. One day we might try the also highly scenic Highway 85 via Palmerston but according to Google Maps it takes a whole 8 minutes longer so J probably won’t be interested. The scenery flying past the windows was gorgeous as always; white sheep dotting distant grassy paddocks, majestic hawks wheeling in the sky, neat farmhouses and ramshackle old sheds with several layers of paint showing through, pink foxgloves sprouting from piles of deadwood.
We enjoyed quality road trip tunes – Rory piped up “I wike dis song” every time Van Morrison came on and the boys laughed their arses off at Boris The Spider by The Who. Thank the patron saint of all road trips (St. Christopher?) we have no hot potatoes, cold spaghetti, or big red cars on ours. Crossed the deep, fast turquoise waters of the Clutha River at Beaumont and followed it upstream for most of the trip. We also passed dozens of orchards of every yummy stone fruit you can imagine and can we stop for a minute and load up at one of those roadside stands… no?… dammit.
We did our traditional stop off in Roxburgh for famous Jimmy’s Pies for lunch, then headed through the Rocky Range to Alexandra. This is my favourite part of the trip and one day I’d love to check it out properly (B&B FYI J). I love the dramatic rock formations and could quite happily hike around them for a couple of hours with the gee whiz camera.
Crossed the Clutha again in Alexandra – famous for its spring Blossom Festival but we’re only ever here in midwinter or midsummer. Passed the dam at Clyde, then at Cromwell, on the shores of Lake Dunstan, we hopped over onto Highway 6 to follow the beautiful Kawarau Gorge most of the rest of the way to Arrowtown.
A darkening sky, a winding road, a little cough from Rory in the backseat. Then he said quietly, “I choked.” I looked back and he’d sprayed chocolate milk puke all over himself, Teddy’s head, Finn’s hat, his transformer toy, his rental booster and the back seat.
Poor guy. We’d had no idea he even got carsick. (SURPRISE !!!) Unfortunately we were on a narrow bit of road and couldn’t pull over straight away, so we got to enjoy it for a few more minutes while we hoped he was done barfing. He was okay – though a little concerned he’d spewed on Dad’s phone and might have to stop playing Angry Birds. When we pulled over, I channelled David Copperfield and cleaned up the mess using only 3 baby wipes and a bottle of water.*
*Unlike David Copperfield it didn’t disappear completely however, even after follow-up (multiple) cleansers and fabric deodoriser. It didn’t help that Rory puked again on the exact same spot a few days later on the way to Kaka Point. D’OH. There isn’t anti- carsick medication for 4 year olds so we made do with acupressure wristbands and some ginger beer. It seemed to work…
We opened the windows and J put his foot down a bit and it wasn’t too long before we arrived in Arrowtown. This post is getting a mite long already so I’ll give you a break before Part Deux – feel free to have a nap. Or a bear.