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To beat the Warbirds rush hour traffic, we headed down the road early at 8am.
Of course it wouldn’t be a challenge if we didn’t grind our way up and over the Crown Range Road past Cardrona.
As we neared the summit the old girls were sweating blood and the traffic was building up behind. Stopping at the summit to admire the view it was like a blast freezer or as Haigh so eloquently put it “Colder than a frog’s tit.”
Staying just long enough to get hypothermia, we headed down the other side of the hill still in second gear to avoid over speeding into oblivion.
Parked up in Arrowtown
The first destination was Arrowtown for a scout around and brunch. The convoy pulled through the narrow main street in parade formation before parking up below the town. Tony directed us on one corner then a few minutes later popped up on another corner. Is this man teleporting?
Although tempting, we did not have brunch in the Remarkable Sweet Shop.
Feeling full we mounted up and headed out of town to the Frankton Motor Camp at Queenstown. A former Top Ten, it was not as salubrious as some of our lodgings, but it was a step up from Jock’s paddock.
Briefing at Frankton Motor Camp. Photo: Harindra Pilapitiya
A plan was formulated to go on a dinner cruise to Walter Peak Station on the majestic old lady of the lake, the triple expansion steam engine powered Earnslaw. Not everyone wanted to (or could) participate and the $145 per head price tag was enough to choke on. Haigh negotiated a discount which helped.
The entire Earnslaw/Walter Peak experience was top notch and made me proud to be a New Zealander when we can offer this level of experience.
As the ship pulled into the wharf, the entire dining staff of about 15-20 people came out onto the front lawn top wave to us. It was such a grand old-school gesture.
We landed on the wharf. Duncan and Tina McGregor recently made a midnight run out here in a ready-mix concrete truck to effect urgent repairs to the wharf at 2am.
Our group were met and seated together for the gourmet meal. As a smorgasbord, it was difficult not to over-indulge.
Haigh had organised a birthday cake for Kerrie Subritzky. She said it was her best birthday ever which really is something because she had had a few of them!
The night was pitch black outside as we walked to see the farm show. The special arena was lit up and the two sheep dogs yawned and stretched as they adjusted to their sleep being interrupted.
The farm guy sheared a sheep to the delight of the crowd, giving a great commentary as he did it. Then it was time to pat the dog before re-boarding the Earnslaw for the cruise home. Up forward, there was a sing-along with a piano. So many songs from my youth and memories came flooding back. We must have sung way too much at school!