Wed 11th, DOC St Bathans to DOC Boundary Creek Reserve
We were packed up and away by 9am and took the sealed road back to the highway. Another detour in store as we drove a short way into historic Ophir just off R85. This is a destination for rail trail cyclists and had plenty of accommodation options for them. Bigger than St Bathans and more populated. Old homes had been more grand and had been restored while quite a lot of new infill housing had been built. A local cottage hospital, bank store and post office still functioned in historic buildings. Terry took extensive footage of the main street before we drove over the impressive stone bridge out of town and back to the highway.We targeted the town of Alexandra as our mid day stop to do some washing at a laundermat and to attend to the van. After all the messing around we met a nice local lady with luggage waiting at the bus stop to start her travels to Western Australia to see the wild flowers. She recommended the Courthouse café round the corner and it was there we sampled their delicious pastry:‘Danish pastries may be niceAlso the humble muffinBut in New Zealand let me sayThat nothing beats a cruffin!’Cruffins were invented by a European pastry cook who took the Danish pastry dough, rolled it into a type of snail shell shape that fits into a large muffin paper, lets it rise then bakes it and when it cools, pipes vanilla custard into its interior. Yummy and the recipe is on the internet.Couldn’t find the dump spot or water fill at Alexandra so we drove on to Cromwell, a neat little town of mostly new houses and a good mall. Terry was most impressed and wanted to shift there! Self contained motor homes impose some rigid duties on their occupants. You have to empty the toilet cassette every 2 or 3 days at a designated dump spot, usually located on the edge of a town and pinpointed by your GPS. Here you can wash out the cassette with the water hose at the site and sometimes fill up with fresh water for your shower and cooking at a different water tap nearby. Someone had removed a necessary tap fitting that matched ours at the fresh water point so we had to traipse back into town to the Mitre 10 store to buy one.
Lake Dunstan, Cromwell
After all our delay in Cromwell we were late getting into Boundary Creek Reserve. The scenery was great on the way: lakes, snowy alps and a tired Terry as we motored into our camp site. Great views from the site of Lake Howea and about 5 vans were there that evening. $8 per person per night left in a metal collection box. We chose a sheltered site with dense bush around us that protected us from the wind. I made hamburgers for dinner that night after taking a walk by the lake and doing a quick sketch in the cold of the lake and alps.