In Laos Covid-19 started to gain momentum. On the 18th of March we got word that Thailand was going to close its borders so we began a 2 day process of packing up all our stuff and exiting the apartment. The border closure came in the next week – so we happy we made the call
to move quickly.
It was packed at Vientiane airport, whereas in Bangkok the departure halls were all but empty. We returned to Bannockburn NZ,
happy we had the house to return to.
Back in NZ after lock-down eased, we took a short break to …Oamaru. Somewhere we normally passed through, or stopped for lunch, but never stayed. It was a very enjoyable place to explore a little further. We stayed just outside the town, on the way
to Bushy Beach, in a converted farmhouse.
In town we walked the harbour, visited the excellent public gardens and generally enjoyed looking about. The one thing that stood out was
the food – every meal was outstanding and we suffered food fatigue! The Star and Garter café, with its walls covered with old wedding photos, Fat Sally Pub with a chicken salad loaded with tasty morsels that was so big we couldn’t finish, cheese from Whitestone, Pizza from the Brewery and an outstanding south American influenced meal from Cucina https://www.cucinaoamaru.co.nz/
And we finished with a detour to Fleur’s at Moeraki. The food was excellent and the Pinot Gris so outstanding we stopped at the cellar door in Kurow on the way home and purchased a few more bottles
In August our little break away was to Twizel. Again staying a few minutes outside town. We took a trip up to Mount Cook and walked
the Hooker track to the glacier lake.
The day started cold – Andrew left his hat in the car and insisted on imitating
a Russian grandmother with his scarf wrapped around his head.
The day warmed up and most of the walk was in pleasant sunshine. We also walked up the hill to view the Tasman glacier and lake. We visited the Salmon Farm shop, biked around the area and had lots of coffees at the Hydro café. Highlight of our accommodation was an outdoor bath. It took a lot of talking to convince Andrew it was worth braving the -4 degrees of frost to sit in the double sized bath, looking at the milky way in the dark skies. He loved it once he tried it.
Frosty morning, looking at the outdoor bathtub
Mt Cook road and Clay Cliffs