From Gibbston we travelled a short distance to try our hand at panning for gold. Unfortunately, no nuggets or flakes came our way but the history of the area was interesting. We had a brief look around Cromwell and couldn't leave without buying some in season totally delicious cherries....yum, yum, yum!
We stopped in Ranfurly for the night at a pleasant motor camp. The next day was CHRISTMAS DAY and we had no plans:). Looking at the road map we decided to hit the gravel and go over Danseys Pass. This is amazing country with vast expanses of tussock covered hills creeping into mountainous grey rock.
Cruising along, no worries and around a corner we come across some old established trees and an option to drive off the road..... so we we took it. Snuggled amongst the trees was the Dansey Pass Coach Inn!! It was Christmas Day after all but the sign outside said come in for a coffee..... so we did. The hostess was so welcoming and suggested we had brunch of 'eggs bene' - they were in the middle of their staff Christmas breakfast but that didn't matter a toot. (We were even invited to stay and join them for their Christmas lunch at 3pm)!!! Ant and I settled into the comfy leather couches wth the huge fire roaring. The food was scrumptious. The surroundings reminded us of our Scandinavian Christmas and I even had a fruit tea..... very traditional. The place was just gorgeous and I think the pics tell the story. It was actually an old gold mining area so the hotel and it's area was steeped in history.
After that we got on the road again, over the Pass and onto Timaru where we settled into a comfortable motel. Being Christmas day we caught up with family..... all in all, a very nice day. :)
Belinda and Anthony (aka Tony) Hadfield made a decision, in their late 50's, to do something a "bit different" and walk New Zealand's 3000km Te Araroa Trail over summer 2015/16 - although updates will now tell you that this plan will take longer now!!. As the old saying goes - "don't leave home 'til you've seen the country"!!