position S035 19.100 E174 07.200

Ocean Rival Journey Log
Adam Power Diana Power
Sun 7 Apr 2019 12:19

Monday 25th Nov-Tuesday 26th

Having decided to add the inland loop via Pukaki & Tekapo for a last sight of the mountains it was disapointing that the clouds didn't lift for us. This Lupin stocked river border was at a sandwich stop.                                                                     

A couple of impressive Hydroelectric damns on route.
Milky water from a tributary colouring the lake.

We stopped for a good walk to climb Mount St John. An obervatory on top of the hill takes advantage of the clear air with low light polution.  Cloudless skies can't however be guaranteed.
Our lunch stop was shared with a Wallaby that stood and looked at us for a while before hopping off into the bush.

This fellow strikes a good pose overlooking Lake Tekapo. On a clear day Mount Cook would have been visible in the distance.

We reached Timaru in time for a wander round the unremarkable town before finding our bnb -this one a good sized garage  conversion.

Timaru is where my grandma was born and grew up. My mum had visited some years before us but had lost touch with the last of her cousins.  We thought we would try and find my great grandparents grave.

Thinking that the  museum would be the place to have records we found it shut but spotting the very smart modern library was open we asked a helpful librarian if they keep death records. Better than that she turned up a plan of the Cemetry with every grave logged and named. My mum had given us the name- Mathias and approximate dates. We weren't sure if the grave she found was theirs however as the dates were a little out but Mum later verified that Edith & Lewis were indeed her grandparents, and  Helen one of her Mums sisters who had died young. It was a large family (9 children?) so I had a search for current Mathias' still in Timaru and turned up one possible contact but unfortunately didn't manage to speak to anyone.  Googling turned up a Mathias now living up in Russell near the boat and also another lady who is a celebrity chef. I made contact with the Russell Mathias via Linkedin- he didn't think he was related to us although he is a cousin of the chef.
After finding the grave we drove along Fairview Rd which was the address of Edith & Lewis. It is a long country road with some sheep farms but which was theirs we couldn't tell.  
The drive on to Christchurch was along a  very straight road across the Canterbury flats. Not very inspiring after our prior surfit of amazing scenery. 

We had a look round the museum in Christchurch before finding Mike and Margo's house perched on a cliff edge having just about survived the earthquake.  Mike is a university friend of Diana's so it was strange for her to catch up with him after nearly 50 years. They had had lots of problems sorting out damage after the earthquake with dodgy builders and difficult insurance claims. The house looks fine now but amazing that it didn't slide down the hill. The garden is on the extreme limit of manageability- Mike has done an amazing job of landscaping with loads of rather wonky retaining walls.   They would quite like to move now but want to stay in the Mountpleasant area.

Enjoyed a nice meal in an italian restaurant and a poignent walk round the centre to see the still damaged cathedral and open spaces where buildings once stood, yet to be replaced.We drove up to the top of the hill on which they live for a twilight view over Christchurch and the harbour on the other side.