Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Alexandra Area

I am going to take a different tac at the blog today. We had a very leserly day. We started at the local information center. One thing we are impressed with is the information centers at most towns. They all have lots of information about the local area, can book special trips (like biking, or a wine tour here in Alexander), and usually have a small museum that has historical information and displays from the local area. It is also a source of souvenours. In this case they had a nice museum and lots of information. We ended up deciding to do a historical drive through some of the little towns.

This area used to be a gold mining area until it was mined out and then turned into a major fruit production area. We found a fruit stand and picked up som wonderful pears, nectarines, peaches, apples, and plums. They are just ripening and they were wonderful to snack on during our drive today.

I'm not going to point out locations of the following, but will provide a short description and then some pictures. Hope this format works, because I don't know of better way to do todays blog.

Mail box found in a wee town well off the beaten path (up a gravel road even).

Bird house found next to a local pub. Obviously not used by the birds, since there were lots of cob webs on it.

This is a lean to added on to a pub in another town. The brick wall is the original outside wall. There were a few "merry" people at the bar!

An original post office.....well actually the second one for this town. The first (for many years) was a tent with newspapers on the walls for insulations. This is an active postoffice as it was brought back to life not many years ago.

Hydroelectric dam near Clyde. A lot of the electricity for New Zealand is generated by water power.

The pub section of the Vulcan Hotel

The outside of the Vulcan Hotel. This town has a population of maybe 20 to 30. During the gold rush it was a pretty good size town.

Suspension bridge (single lane) built in 1880. It is still in use today.

Sheep in a paddock. They had recently been moved here. We think they were going to be sheared.

Sheep in a field. We see lots of sheep and cattle in the country side here.

Tailings from a mining operation. They used water under pressure to separate the gold from the dirt. This is what is left over. The lake was formed accidently. Somehow in the process of mining they created a dam.

The clock face on the side of the hill at Alexandra. This is one of the two items the town is know for. It is a market town for the region however. It is a pretty town with lots of services available.

The is the "Shaky" bridge at Alexandra. It is the other thing the town is know for. The bridge was built across a local river. To provide access. Before the bridge access was provided by a small boat (punt). This bridge is shaky. It was built in 1877 and restored in 1952.

Here is a vineyard with the netting in place. Probably better than the "grab" road shots we have gotten up to now.

Finally, here is a view of Alexandra. As I stated above it is a pretty town and is fairly modern. We enjoyed our stay here.

Tomorrow we are off for the fjord area of New Zealand. Katie and I will be on our own for the next few days and will be connecting up with Sylvia and Roy again in the Duneden area. More blogs entries tomorrow or as soon as we find the internet again.
Cheers......the happy travelers!

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