We drove south across bridges that spanned dry rivers and/or trickling creeks amid braided riverbeds. It wasn’t until we reached Otago that we saw ‘proper’ rivers. At a comfort stop in Palmerston we admired Sir John McKenzie’s cairn, set on top of a hill, and reminiscent of Glastonbury Tor.
Our room at the Leviathan Hotel was central and reasonably priced, across the road from Toitu, the Otago Settlers Museum (which lacks an apostrophe) and the railway yards. There are few trains these days and none were audible at night.
In Oamaru we’d heard thunder and there were intermittent heavy showers after that, so we decided dinner inhouse might be the best option. The small dining room by the bar was a time warp, resembling dozens of others in provincial hotels, with a typical menu. I had fish and chips and Stephen had a steak. Several solitary diners were happy to watch the television, which I could have done without.
Breakfast was in the larger dining room. This was much more opulent with fascinating memorabilia around the walls, e.g. the specifications for the Hotel’s wartime air rad shelter and a photo of the Royal Family in 1880 (looking very Alf-like). Candles on all the tables were battery-operated. There was an adequate buffet breakfast for $20 per head, and we decided to seek something more adventurous the next day.
We saw lots of sights and enjoyed our trip. It’s also good to be home, with our dear Ziggy now released from the Cattery.
“Our darling Ziggy seemed to say
He’d rather we not go away.”