Sunday, 1 November 2015

Murchison... Out Walking and Old History

This is Hotham Street... just another street in Murchison now
but before the 1929 earthquake it was the main street
through Murchison.

At the end of the street the road just ends. There is a barrier rail
as you can see, a picnic table and a track at the right...

That goes to a grassy reserve, the river and...

It's a 15 minute walk each way...

Through ferns and bush... Recently developed.

Of more interest to me was the remains of the old bridge.

This is how it was...

And what happened to it during the quake. It cut off the access
into and out of Murchison. In the museum are some fascinating
old photos of the temporary bridges, enormous land slides
into the river, mud tracks, horses, 
drays, carts and men as Murchison was evacuated 
with the loss of 17 lives.
I spent a while sitting in the sun just enjoying the peacefulness
of the river and thinking about how frightening it must
have been for all those people.

It was a beautiful day. In the South Island there is a
definite spring season of lovely sunny days, the air still
cool from the snow on the alps and quite cold nights.
But spring abounds in all the blossoms... Rhododendrons...

This is flowering blackcurrant... A real old fashioned plant
that I hardly ever see today... But then Murchison is
a lovely old fashioned place.

I think this is bachelors button?

A flowering cherry tree...

I don't know what this is...

Or this one... 

I walked past the old Anglican Church built at the cost of
165 pounds (conflicting infomation on different signage)
and opened in 1905. Still the original old wooden pews inside.

 I then walked back to SH 1 and south of the town to the
"new" bridge opened in 1977.
It is at the confluence of the Buller and Matakitaki
rivers. You can walk (with suitable footwear) from
the "old" bridge, past here and round to
the Catholic Church at the end of Fairfax Street.
Dust & Rust and the NZMCA park are in
Fairfax St. These rivers are renown for
trout but I didn't see or catch any!

But it's a lovely walk around the river.

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