Bopping with Niall JP O'Leary

Niall O'Leary insists on sharing his hare-brained notions and hysterical emotions. Personal obsessions with cinema, literature, food and alcohol feature regularly.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Lake Tekapo

Did you know Dunedin features in 'The Call of Cthulhu'? Of all the places in all the world, huh?

Anyhow I got the bus yesterday morning for Lake Tekapo. I met Manon, Reggy and Ann at the bus stop, so the group is once more forming. Having made my pilgrimage in the rain to Baldwin Street the day before, I was a little put out to discover the bus was to stop at Baldwin Street to allow us to scale its height. I stayed in on board when we arrived. As it happened I was feeling pretty lousy with my cold and was to get worse.

We stopped to view somw volcanic rocks called the Moeraki Boulders, hemispherical outcrops from the surf of a nice shoreline, though a minute or two's investigation sufficed. Then some additional brekkie (I'd had my muesli earlier).

While I am about it I should raise an objection here to hostel cats. I like cats and I have no problem with people keeping them. I have no problem staying with people who keep them; that is their choice and I am a guest. But a hostel is a paying concern. When I arrived in the Central Backpackers in Dunedin, I was shown to my room by a young staffmember. Suddenly she saw the cat on the top bunk across from mine. Rather than complain, she petted him and let him snuggle up warmer in that person's bed. It didn't help that all doors in the hostel were open allowing the cat free access to everywhere. Later as I went for my food I found the cat jumping up on to the food shelf and attempting to investigate someone's foodbag. Indeed the cat's food etc. was right by the kitchen rubbish. I am sure there is a mousehunting service provided by such feline friends, but I am also sure that at the very least they pose a problem for those with allergies and at the worst a major health hazard. Certainly I got the whiff of cat's piss more than once. Anyhow sorry for the complaining.

We stopped for lunch and ataround 4 arrived at Lake Tepako. Minerals washed into the lake (and others nearby) by glaciers lends the water a distinctive turquoise colour. It can look stunnning. Lake Tekapo the town isn't much more than a strip of restaurants beside the service station, though a statue of a collie dog and a very small picturesque church give it some distinction. ONce the collie and church had been duly photographed I made a Lemsip and sat down to read.

In the evening, and it being Australia Day, I went to a nearby restaurant to join others from the Magic Bus for dinner and drinks. Everyone was delayed, so it was just me and a Danish woman who is particulalry friendly with one of the drivers. It turns out she had been on the Magic Bus two years back and was doing it again to test the waters before coming to New Zealand to live. I think her Maori driver 'friend' is still around for her, so she's coming back soon. At that point the others arrived and I ended up ordering a venison and lamb pizza with Jam, his two English female friends (Claire and 'Prince Charles', the girl Victor once hooked up with), and two other English girls, Liz and Sammi (the one Phillip hooked up with). It was a pleasant enough evening, the pizza was fine, the company innocuous and my cold kept a little in abeyance by the alcohol. Ann, Manon and Reggy turned up later and I walked back with them.

I had ended up in a mixed dorm with Kristina and Rebecca. Kristina, after a long afternoon walk, was in bed, while Rebecca had found some German guy and stayed behind in the bar. I watched the end of 'Almost Famous' drinking a Lemsip and then suffered indigestion, on top of my running nose, so I may have kept the Japanese girl on the lower bunk, Yuko, awake. All fun and games.


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