I am enjoying a wonderful blueberry smoothie and almond slice in a little cafe in Oamaru’s beautiful old town. It is only 1pm and I have already seen so much. After my morning walk and successful little walk up to some quirky caves in Trotters Gorge I successfully drove out of my camping paradise (only drizzle this morning😀) and explored the Moeraki Boulders just South of Oamaru. What a strange phenomenon-they are almost perfectly spherical and just dotted around randomly on the beach. To me, they looked almost like petrified eggs-some even have egg-like cracks on them; others are split open like an egg would split to reveal beautiful inside colourings.
No wonder these boulders have been the subject of such curiosity and even legend. The Maoris, in fact, believe that the boulders were the food baskets of one of the great ancestral canoes that brought Maori to New Zealand and that, after the canoe was wrecked during a greenstone gathering trip, the food baskets on board became smooth boulders and that the wreck turned into a reef. My own legend is that the kiwibird has a giant ancestor who used to live on the beach and hatch its eggs there and that the eggs became petrified….methinks a story that needs to be written.😀
Since then, I have had fun exploring the wonderful historic town of Oamaru, North Ortago’s main town with wonderfully preserved historic and commercial buildings. Grain and wool were very important to the local economy and I saw some old warehouses with big bags of grain and wool in them.
The highlight of my morning has, however, been meeting Marie the bookbinder. She has a wonderful little shop here in the old town and was working away hard when I came in to explore. We started talking (I cannot just go into someone’s store and not say hello) and it was such a blessing. Marie has German ancestors, was born and bred ( I think) in Australia where she used to work with aborigines at a drop-in centre, a stressful 24/7 job. Her son came to work in the shop and now she finds binding therapeutic after her challening role in Australia. I wish I could have stuck around for her bread-making course tonight (which is fully booked anyway) and hope to meet her grand-daughter in London. It is these encounters which often add an extra-special je ne sais quoi to my days here.
I am now heading on to Lake Tekapo (via a site of Maori rock carvings )-it does sound too beautiful to miss. Not sure about internet access there but no doubt will be back online some time soon.