Our plans went awry when the airline we’d chosen to travel with decided not to run its scheduled flight out of New Plymouth. Instead they offered to bus us up to Auckland so we could catch a connecting flight to Christchurch the following afternoon; or we could wait until the following day and hope weather conditions improved. We did and they didn’t.
It was not an arbitrary decision but when our chosen carrier cancelled three consecutive flights and offered the same bus deal we decided to forego our flight with them and book with the national airline whose planes are up to the regional weather challenges. Delayed or cancelled flights are emotionally draining but we were able to stay with good friends in New Plymouth and spend time with their families while waiting for flights to Christchurch. Two days late but happy, we made it to Christchurch.
With one day to spend with our family in Christchurch a day trip to the mountains was the perfect way to catch up on news as well as see another part of the South Island. We travelled to Methven, a small town at the heart of nine ski fields in the Southern Alps in the region of Canterbury. The conditions were perfect for a day trip to the mountains that sovereignly kept watch over the lush paddocks as Spring lambs bounded gleefully in the sunshine.
The Rakaia River runs through wide shingle beds for much of its length, but is forced through a narrow canyon as it approaches the Canterbury Plains. The road divided lush paddocks, some planted with crops, others providing ideal grazing for dairy stock, some bison a few goat herds and sheep, may of whom had day old lambs already bounding playfully in the sunshine.
By the time we arrived in Methven we were hungry and had lunch at The Blue Pub which we enjoyed in the outdoor area as the mountain kept watch over the region in contemplative majesty.
Whichever way we returned to base, the mountains were behind us yet our sense of awe continued on the scenic route home. I would like to return some day and take up the quiet invitation it seems to offer to sit in introspective contemplation.