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Sunday, December 30, 2012

We haven't struck it rich gold panning.

This morning we made plans for the coming week over breakfast. As I got up from the table I noticed a pair of mallards peering into our window. I opened the door and I'm sure that they said in duckish that they would like some breakfast, too.

Treklet had great fun hand feeding them some of her bread. Callers at our door

We decided to visit Arrowtown today, as it is only a short distance away. The sun was out and the little town was crawling with visitors. All of the historical buildings are in use as shops and cafes. It's so pretty and terribly reminded me of Julian or Oak Glen at home, only prettier and greener.

We visited the museum and rented some gold panning equipment for $3, then strolled to the Arrow River with hopes of retrieving some of the sparkly metal. The river is lovely, with loads of green jasper and other colorful minerals lining it's bed. The water is cool and clear, and the banks are adorned with willows and wildflowers. After about an hour, we returned our pan and richer only in memories.

The Alien and Treklet went to a French cafe for creeps, but Eugene and I had Thai food next door. Then we browsed the shops and explored the Historic Chinese Settlment. It started to sprinkle just as we left.

On the way back, we visited the historic Shotover Bridge before heading to Queenstown's City Center for a stickybeak.

In town it got very cold and windy. We discovered that finding parking is nearly Impossible, and didn't stay long. It was crowded with cars and pedestrians--the most crowded of anyplace we've been to in the country.

Back at our unit, I cooked dinner, then the Alien went to the pub next door to watch the dog races. The sun came out and Treklet & I went for a long bike ride on the Queenstown Trail. We followed the shores of Lake Wakatipu and crossed the Shotover River to the east shore. The lake water is amazingly clear. At a distance it varies from turquoise to the most beautiful cerulean blue, and up close it is crystal clear. Treklet stopped for a trail side rope swing and again to admire a Black Swan.

Unfortunately she wiped out going up a steep gravel portion and had to ride all the way back with several bruises and a bleeding knee. Once we had that cleaned up we settled in to watch The Fellowship of the Ring.

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