On holiday or not – the laundry never stops. I took a load along to a launderette in Christchurch, and guess who I bumped into. This wasn’t just any old laundromat but a very busy coffee bar, and coffee roasting business as well. And who should I meet up while I lugged my big laundry bag through the door but number one son Michael, who was meeting a friend for coffee. Once I had the washing machine going I went and ordered a coffee for myself and crashed his coffee date. Not too sure how he felt about that, but Mum’s don’t mind embarrassing their children, even when they are grown up, do they? And it was better sitting by myself in the laundry area waiting for the machine to complete it’s cycle.
Michael and his Mum
Robin and I had a “proper” visit with Michael at his home the following day – no cramping his style this time. But I did ask if I could use his washing machine at home – the caravan sheets and towels needed changing. It was a funny old day weather-wise – showers and very strong winds. So on the way back to our van we decided it would be easier to put the clean, wet washing through a spin drier at a launderette and not have to worry about it blowing off the line in the paddock where we were camping.
Round and round it goes.
We have just had several days at Akaroa, on Banks Peninsular, named after Joseph Banks who was sailing with Captain Cook on the Endeavour in 1770. It’s history goes back to the dawn of time and it was formed following violent eruptions of two volcanoes. These formed the twin craters of the Akaroa and Lyttleton harbours, which have many smaller bays indenting the coastline.
And believe it or not, Akaroa was very nearly claimed by the French. There were street signs proclaiming Rue this and Rue that, an acknowledgment of the French immigrants who arrived, only to find that the English had already claimed sovereignty. The French were allowed to stay, and Akaroa embraces the French influence.
Driving down the hill into Akaroa
A morning on a harbour cruise to check out the wildlife sounded like fun. The morning started with the usual safety briefing drill, no running, no smoking, keep children under control, and whereabouts of life jackets. All quite necessary, and the the skipper took us around the harbour, checking for wildlife to show us.
We saw dolphins, penguins, seals and sea birds, not always easy to photograph, together with amazing rock formations.
Giant Petrel and baby fur seals
We took a photo of this poster on board the boat of a Hector’s dolphin, so much clearer than trying to snap them in the water as they swam alongside the boat. Hector’s dolphins are among the world’s smallest marine dolphins, found only in the inshore waters of New Zealand. They are the only dolphins in New Zealand with a rounded black dorsal fin. Their bodies are a distinctive grey, with white and black markings and a short snout.
Poster of a Hector’s dolphin
It was a great morning out, and most enjoyable. The Captain gave us a great running commentary, pointing of places of interest, and stopping the boat when wildlife was beside us in the harbour.
On board the Black Cat