I had a late night watching F1 on my phone as mobile data was faster than WIFI. Awoke to grim weather, cold and wet, and it didn’t look like it was passing. At breakfast Bas suggested a change from the scheduled ride to Kurow. We jumped in the bus and drove all the way (about 110km) to Oamaru for the day, then back to Kurow (70km) for the night.
I had been through Oamaru several times but not had the chance to really see it, so this was a fine alternative to a miserable day on the bike. We were dropped off near the Victorian Precinct but I ventured along the main street as needed some more media storage. Adding another 128GB SD card to my little Surface Go sorted that, for a while.
Not biking weather, not really Porsche Convertible weather either.
Tech sorted I headed back to the Victorian Precinct. The weather favoured indoor attractions, of which there are plenty.
The perfect entry to the precinct is a collaborative art project in this 1883 "Grain Elevator" Oamaru stone building & yard. It is the perfect setting for this incredible collection of retro-futuristic art projects.
GADGETORIUM, the creators nest?
THE PORTAL, a cupboard with a difference.
A replica of Shackleton’s boat (made for the NZ TV movie, ‘Shackleton’s Captain’) greats you at the door. Beyond lies the a vast collection of books, both old and new, on the Antarctic & Polar Regions, Mountains & Mountaineering, Exploration, Travel Adventures; Nautical and Natural History.
I could have spent the whole day in here but was limited to an hour or two. Had a great chat with owner Bill Nye (not “The Science Guy’!) about Antarctica, the subject of many of his books. Didn't buy a book but could not resist a Shackleton T shirt. I hope its advice will not be needed on my next trip!
Update: Since this was written Adventure Books has relocated to Christchurch. Check their website for the new location
Bas arranged this for after lunch. I wasn't sure what to expect but this interactive tour through Oamaru’s colonial history was entertaining. It starts at the dockside, as if you have just got off the ship, and a series of exhibits show how the Victorian era town grew.
No sign of CAD software in a Victorian Oamaru architects office. They still produced impressive Oamaru Limestone (thus the name) buildings.
Bas & Kevin looking very comfortable with Victorian cycling in the dry!
Victorian games filled a wet cold day
We stopped off at Elephant Rocks on the way back to Kurow, would pass again as the trail goes this way
Bas suggested we defer our trip a couple of days to make this stay possible, and I now understand why. This former rural supplies store, built in 1888, has been transformed into a café restaurant with accommodation. The rooms were great and the welcome, chats with owner Kate White & team, and dining were a wonderful experience. Totally recommend a stop if you are passing, for anything from coffee & cake to an overnight stay.
Nice rooms, each with conservatory and ensuite bathroom.
Dinner was a traditional lamb roast, great food and company combined.
Fresh snow on the hills in the distance, a sign of how cold it had got last night. Tomorrow the weather is looking better, hopefully back in the saddle!