Tuesday, 1 April 2014
Still 'heading to the caravan'
Last time I wrote about the trail to the caravan
I think I left you at Ettrick in apple and pear country,
where we had just had scones and coffee for morning tea.
Drive up the road for just quarter of an hour and we come
to the hydro town of Roxburgh in the Teviot Valley.
This was once a thriving gold field town
but now has only a small population of approx 750.
If we are leaving home a bit later we usually drive on to Roxburgh for a bite of lunch at one of the local tearooms.
Like Lawrence it has become a service town and
a stop for tourists, so has quite a few cafes
and one or two boutique style shops.
Next door to the tearooms is a little shop I like to go into and browse (ahem). They have some beautiful stuff and I have been known to part with my money and come out with something
that I like but don't necessarily need.
Like Christmas decorations in May. Oh well.
The dam was built in the 1950's and is reputably
a great place for trout and salmon fishing,
although my GKB has never stopped to find out.
Back in the car and now we don't stop until
we get to Alexandra where we sometimes
stop off to buy a few groceries. This was another major
gold mining area and has a great museum of the era.
My grandparents were up here in the early 1900's as young marrieds and I remember my grandmother talking
about the bitterly cold winters and the ground
being frozen solid to a depth of 3 feet for months on end.
The land in the Teviot and Alexandra areas
is so dry and barren and I always feel sorry
for the pioneer women who first came through here.
The clock on the hill was a great marvel when it was first put up, and you can drive up to it and have a great view over the town.
The Clutha river passes through the town, flows on down to Roxburgh, and has the most volume of water
in any river in the country. I love the beautiful colour it is. Someone once described it as being turquoise and
on a good day it is. You can't tell from my photo though.
We're nearly at our destination now but first a detour into Clyde.
This is where my GKB and I sometimes come to buy an ice cream and sit and just be. It is a sleepy little place apart from when it has it's wine and food festival. This is orchard country, stone fruit, with the odd vineyard thrown in for good measure.
A lot of the orginal buildings are still in use,
like the hotel in the picture above.
The city fathers have done a good job of
preserving the historical feel of the old town while there
are also a lot of new homes being built on the outskirts.
Oh, did I mention this is where My GKB and I were married?
In a little stone church just around the corner
from this street above.
I have a photo of the church, taken just recently,
but do you think I can find it? No.
Now up the hill, past the Clyde dam and into the gorge.
Twenty minutes driving beside Lake Dunstan
and we arrive at our destination. Cromwell.
Set the caravan up, make a coffee and relax.
Orchards, vineyards and the lake on the doorstep
and only an hour or two driving gets you to
most of the southern tourist spots if you want to go.
What more do you need?
Well, I hope you've enjoyed your little trip through the gold towns.
We always do.
Have a good week,