Friday, August 27, 2010

NZ Day 11 - Lake Tekapo

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The spherical Moeraki boulders lying in a stretch along Koekohe Beach, overseeing the South Pacific Ocean.

  • The night at Angela's place was great! But that's not the end, because there was  more - the wonderful breakfast, to come. Canceled the plan to watch sunrise at Taiaroa Head at the end of the Otago Peninsula as the sunrise time was too early for us. Besides, the drive there from Dunedin would take about one hour in the dark. 
  • Woke up a little later than usual, packed our stuff and was treated to a sumptuous breakfast by Angela. There were several meals on the menu, I chose Baldwin Street, and Mich went for Chingford Park, which is named after a park nearby. 
  • The main meal, which came with fruit juice, tea, coffee, toast and homemade jam were just superb; one of the best breakfast I've tasted for a long, long time. Angela would check and ask us to make sure everything's fine every few minutes, especially when we went quiet during the breakfast. Besides, she is not reluctant to share stories on certain parts of the house and the antique furniture, how she turned it from a students' hostel to a private motel. 
  • The warm hospitality by our host is no doubt one of the most memorable memories we had during our trip. If there is another chance, we would certainly return to this place again. Bid farewell to Angela and stopped at Chingford Park to see a magnificent wooden building which was used as a stable to house six black Arabian horses some time ago. 
  • During our walk at the park, cam across a Kiwi guy, who was taking his cute little dog for a morning walk. The moment Mich saw that dog, she stopped and didn't move an inch for the next few minutes lol! Yes, she is damn scared of dogs.
  • The journey from Dunedin to Lake Tekapo would take more than five hours, but we plan to stop at several places along the way. First stop was at Shag's Point to see the fur seals and a small colony of yellow-eye penguins. They usually come up to bask on the rocks. Managed to spot a few seals but felt that it wasn't enough. 
  • So, walked to another corner to get a closer view of them. Mich had warned me not to go down, but I insisted. The consequences - I received a big ang pow haha! I turned a Humpty Dumpty while walking on the slippery rocks! Damn pain alright, but somebody still found it funny and laughed non-stop =.= 
  • People fell down still can laugh; imagine you going to the doctor and instead of treating you, that doctor laughed at you and said, "Haha, padan muka! Still don't wanna listen to people-lah". Damn sad case, right? Anyway, no major injuries, just some broken heart, that's all. And my jeans got some green pattern from the moss haha!
  • The next stop was at the Moeraki Boulders to look at dinosaur eggs. I believed it for a while when Mich told me those are dinosaur eggs haha! They are actually some unusually large and spherical boulders lying along a stretch of beach, formed millions of years ago. 
  • Mich was doing the driving for first half of the journey for the day. While trying to overtake a car, I asked Mich to overtake a second car in front by telling her, "Yeah, ta pao that front car sekali". She only found that funny, as she laughed out of nowhere only after a couple of minutes =.= 
  • The third stop of the day was at Oamaru, an old town, which has buildings from the Victorian century. Most of the buildings in this town are very well-preserved and spending some time here made us feel as if we had travelled back to the 19th century. 
  • Wanted to stop at the penguin viewing area to see the blue penguins, but too bad they only usually come to shore in late evening. Dropped by Harbour Street Bakery, as recommended by Angela. Had freshly baked carrot muffin, Danish pastry, and mutton plum pie, plus a bottle of ginger beer, which were really good. Sat outside under warm sun to have our lunch.
  • A short stroll along the street took us into a few shops. It was wonderful to see how each shop was beautifully decorated with antiques decos that give them a unique look. If you think Malacca and Penang is old enough, wait until you see this town.
  • Took over the driving from Mich at Timaru. She spotted a helicopter carrying a box, and asked me to take a look. She made a random hypothesis by telling me that they are relocating the sheep to new farms haha! Obviously, it was just a box, which we didn't know what's inside.
  • Arrived at Tekapo by half past four. Stopped a while at the lake to have some pictures, before checking in at Tailor-Made-Backpackers Tekapo. The girl at the reception counter has been to Malacca, Cameron Highlands and Georgetown and she loves the weather and food a lot! 
  • Went to get some bread and milk for the breakfast the next morning. Saw a guy, who looked like a Japanese, at the supermarket buying more than a dozen of avocados. We made a guess that he could be one of the staff from the nearby Japanese restaurant. And Mich started to say that he's cute.
  • Had our dinner at Kohan, a popular Japanese restaurant in the town. Mich has been talking about this restaurant since I arrived, so it was something like a dream-come-true for her to dine in this restaurant. And she was even more happy to see that avocado boy in the kitchen haha!
  • The experience dining in a Japanese restaurant outside Japan was certainly a new thing to me, and funny at the same time, for all the stupid stuff we both did there haha! We both planned to act as a Japanese couple, but too bad Mich was speaking English all the time; so in the end, our mission failed! 
  • After coming a few times to our table to serve the food, one of the waitress began talking to us. She had to switch her language mode whenever she talked to either of us haha! One of the kitchen staff was already preparing to serve our dessert, but we made a last minute addition of chicken teriyaki, and they quickly signaled that staff to postpone the dessert first. We heard them saying to that poor guy, "Stop!!!" haha! 
  • Drank plum sake but it wasn't really Mich's thing. So, I was made the rubbish bin to finish it up and she kept saying I was drunk, when I obviously wasn't drunk. But there were a few times I made a fool of myself in the restaurant lol!
  • Drove up to Mount John to view the stars, but too bad the place was closed. Anyway, Tekapo is well-known for its clear, dark skies. At the moment, an effort Is being made to make the sky over Lake Tekapo a "UNESCO World Heritage Park In The Night Sky". One fine example is that the lamp posts along the streets are designed to face downwards, to minimize light pollution.

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