Monday, September 10, 2012

Excellent Weekend - Monday 10th September

View from Mark and Dhana's House. Snow-capped Dunstan
Range (I believe - I'm rusty) in distance
What an Excellent Weekend with my friends Dhana and Mark. First, the cuisine:
Roast Lamb on Friday night, follwed by Tahr Curry (see later for details) on Saturday night. On Saturday we took Lamb Sandwiches on our walk, and on Sunday we had Lamb Chipatis for lunch. All washed down with some very nice Leaning Rock Wine (, of course.
For those of you that have not heard me talk about them, Dhana and Mark are contemporaries of mine from the Geology Department at Otago - they (particularly Mark) are into gold prospecting, and they set up a small winery on land in Alexandra, Central Otago about 20 years ago.

Conroy's Gully. Old Man Range up ahead.
The bottom has fallen out of the wine industry (well, for small wineries like theirs, at least), but they still live in Central Otago, where they built a straw bale (insulation) house, and essentially live off their land. Their son Jake is a hunter, and provides them with venison and tahr ( as well as the odd goat. So, they eat well. The Tahr was recent - Jake delivered its head (as a trophy) to Dhana the night I arrived in New Zealand. The meat was very lean, but definitely needed to be in a stew or curry.

Dhana and Tahr Head

On Saturday we were going to go snowshoeing on the top of the Old man Range (I brought Dhana some new snowshoes), but the weather made that inaccessible. Instead we went up a small valley (Conroy's Gully), and Dhana and I headed up towards the top, and Mark fossicked around for gold. We had to head down when the promised rain arrived, and we had a rather interesting time getting out - the tertiary and deeply weathered schist made for a very slick / muddy surface on the 4WD track - but we made it.

For Juan: A very small stream viewed from viaduct.
After it rained
On Sunday Dhana and I went for a bike ride - from their place past the Alex airport (good blackberry bushes), onto the rail trail and 'down' to Clyde, and then along the SW side of the Clutha back to Alexandra - a total of 25 km. I was absolutely wiped - I haven't ridden that far in a long time, but it was absolutely gorgeous. After the heavy rain of the night before (snow on the ranges now), the river was way up, and all four floodgates on the Clyde dam were open. It is now Tuesday 11th, and there was snow in the hills around Dunedin last night, and it is squalling hail as I write. I'm wearing gloves as I type in my office.
Need a place to live? In Historic Clyde

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