Thursday, 29 October 2015

Murchison... Second Hand Shops


This shop is 'Somebody's Treasure'. It is an icon of Murchison.
It's been here for 25 years... It's quite a find...
 With two old shops packed full of items, be prepared to
spend some time here.

It's crammed full of tables and shelves
all absolutely loaded with everything imaginable. It specalises in
china and nick nacks but also books and bottles and numerous
pots and pans and has 100's of salt and pepper shakers.
  It has a large array of antiques and collectables  as well.  
It changed owners just one month ago and the new lady is in
her element, loving every minute of her day as she sorts and
stacks and gets to know her stock.

There is glass, ceramics, pottery, figurines, metalware, coppeware,
pewter, linen, antique paper, postcards, kitchenware, tins, antique tools,
wood items, general bric-a-brac and lots, lots more.

These were my purchases. I was delighted to find
this Carlton Ware dish for only $8. For almost 100 years Wiltshaw & Robinson, 
the makers of Carlton Ware, produced an extraordinary range of 
earthenware and china at its Copeland Street works in Stoke-on-Trent.
This dish is part of the 'Salad Ware' range probably made
in the early 1900's. It's hand painted and part of the
'Buttercup' design.
The little tea strainer is because I have taken a fancy
to organic loose leaf tea and don't always want
to make and drink a pot full.

It added to my little collection that I inherited from my mother.

This place is called 'Dust and Rust'. It's new and has been
established in the Old Commercial Stables. Do have a look
to see various photos of it up until today.
There are few examples of this type of colonial building
remaining in New Zealand. Originally, accommodation was on the
side with bedrooms and shared bathroom facilities available.
And it accommodated the horses of course, as it
predates the common use of motor vehicles. I think it was built mid 1800's
Can't you just hear the hooves and the rumble of iron-rimmed 
wheels echoing through the archway to the forge beyond?

Inside it is full of old - my great grandmother and grandmother's
era - household stuff, particularly old kitchen and scullery
things. I was fascinated and spent hours 'remembering'
back to my childhood.

This old Austin truck is a real beauty...

I bought this book for $5. If you can't read Japanese...
It's called 'Simply Zen'.
Ten years ago I spent ten days in a small part
of Japan, I absolutely love their simplicity
of style and attention to detail...

Lots of ideas should the day come when I don't live
in my house bus any more.

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Next Stop... Murchison

 My next stop was Murchison. I have always just stopped
for coffee and driven on  but now the NZMCA have
a park over property and because I had challenged
myself  on this trip north not to stay anywhere I had
stayed before... I decided this was my next stopping place...
I actually stayed four days and had a lovely time
exploring this historic town... In 2006 population 496!

 Looking further north... Turn left past the Mobil station
to find the NZMCA Park...

 It's a big area, this is half of it...

 I'm tucked into the corner enjoying the sun and not
smoking anybody away with smoke from my fire.

 I walked back to the main road, wandered south...
Looking for the cafe I had been to before.

 Murchison is recognised as the "Whitewater Capital"  of 
New Zealand, nearby rivers include the Gowan River, 
Mangles River Matiri River, Glenroy River, Matakitaki
River, Maruia River, and the Buller, with many excellent 
whitewater runs along their lengths. 
These rivers vary from Class 2 to 4 whitewater. 
Not what I wanted to do today but interesting to read about it all
 Past the Info centre and booking for 'Flames"... About an hours  
organised walk through private farmland in the Mangles 
Valley to see natural gas burning as it comes from the ground..
I didn't want to do that either... And I didn't want to
go on a helicopter ride or guided fishing trip...
Although all could be booked here.
 I was looking for some coffee... And came here
because I've been here before... A good reason or not?

 The next day I found Rivers Cafe.
This was more 'me'... More laid back, good coffee
and food, comfy couches, the newspaper and
books to read or exchange. The fire was going...I came 
here several times... Just as well I eventually moved  on!
 I visited the butcher as had read a rave review of it...
It was a real old fashioned, home kill and cure place...
And smelt really meaty...

 I tried the ham, the bacon and some pork belly
strips which I cut into pieces and made pork and
pineapple with some fresh pineapple I had... Yum!

 The butcher also had honey, a range of home made
soaps and body creams and chocolates.

 Round the town were these old plaques and
photos of the history of this town... The
old Hampden Hotel...

 The Commercial Hotel...

 And looking east...The 1914 fire destroyed this old
Downie's Hotel, Hodgsons Store and Moxey's Hall...
The district is steeped in history from the days of the gold 
miners and early settlers in the mid 1800's.
The gold rush in nearby Lyell was 1862...
There is a DoC camp there now, the cemetery
and an old stamping battery left to tell the old stories.
And the 1929 Murchison earthquake which occurred at 
10:17 a.m. on 17 June, with an estimated magnitude 
of 7.8, which was felt throughout New Zealand.
There were 17 casualties, mostly as a result of landslides  
triggered by the earthquake. The rumbling sound of the 
earthquake was loud enough to be 
heard at  New Plymouth, more than 250 km away.
There is an old museum that I spent  half a day in...
Absolutely full of all the fascinating old history.

 Today's hotels... Still old and interesting...

 And the road travelling north... Past the Tourist Information
Centre... A man who works as a volunteer in here was
also computer savvy and for a $20 donation fixed my
laptop for me... And on the other side of the road
the local dairy...

That sold the biggest 'single scoop' ice creams...

Friday, 23 October 2015

Through the Lewis Pass... And the Alpine Fault Line

 I left the Balmoral Reserve and drove the long straight
road through the majestic pine trees...

 Mountains and the sun glinting on the snow...

 The big South Island shingle rivers...

 Sheep farming country...

 And one of my favorite drives... The Black Beech trees
through the mountainous Lewis Pass...

 I found a small pull-over so I could stop for photos...

 It was a beautiful day and the sunlight through the
branches and leaves was magical...

 This was my next stop... A DoC camp area but totally
deserted, silence and nobody around...
 Although I did find a few cars parked as it's the beginning
of the walk to Lake Daniell... Six hours return, 17km
 or stay in the  hut overnight.

 I decided against doing that by myself. I had thought there
would be other people for company as it's a camping area
and a walk that had been recommended... Oh well next time.
I didn't want to get lost with no phone reception and I certainly
did not want to break another leg in the wilderness by
myself. Also the weather can dramatically change in the
mountains... I'll come again with some friends
as it looked a  great place by the Maruia River.

 However, I found this very interesting feature and
wandered over to investigate...

 The wall is 24 meters long and 1.4 meters deep, wider at the
bottom than the top. Most of it is underground.
It sits right across the Alpine Fault Line.

 Built by scientist Frank Evison, a pioneer in the field of earthquake
 prediction,  in 1964, he and his colleagues
wanted to see if they could measure movement in the
Alpine fault. The idea was that as one side of the fault moved
in relation to the other, it could be measured.
Since it has been built there has been no movement along
the fault so the theory is that it does not make small
movements but instead makes sudden large movements
which is typical of nearly all large active faults in
New Zealand and around the world.

It was a fascinating geography lesson... 

Frank graduated from Victoria University, Wellington with a 
BSc in physics in 1944 and a MA with Honours in mathematics in 1946.
In London Frank started to specialise in geophysics, gaining his PhD 
from the University of London. When working as a government scientist 
with the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR), 
Frank made one of his most well known discoveries – 
coal-seam guided S waves, eventually renamed ‘Evison waves’.
Read more about this remarkable man here.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Whitebait... White gold...

 It's Whitebait season... Between 15th August and 30th November
except on the West Coast... Slightly sorter season there.
I showed you the whitebaiters at Ashley River mouth...
Well there were also a few people with nets at 
Salt Water Creek... Just a bit further north on SH1.
On the side of the road there was some for sale...
$100 per kilo... But only $10 per 100gr!
So of course I had to have some although it was
a total indulgence...

It's a small fish with a very big reputation as New Zealand 
whitebait is regarded as one of the most prized seafood 
delicacies in the country. Unlike European whitebait – 
small, whole herrings – whitebait in New Zealand are the 
sprats of galaxiids (slim narrow fish with forked tails, 
which as adults live in freshwater rivers and lakes). 
In this juvenile state, whitebait 'sprats' resemble 
fat translucent worms. 

 So into the mixing pot. I added one egg white and
one small spoon of rice flour...

 My little fritters cooking...

Served with new seasons asparagus... Yum, yum.
I ate them slowly!