A refreshing break

It’s hard to believe that I managed to travel overseas for eight weeks with a tiny suitcase. The boot of the car and the back seat were full of all the stuff we “needed” to pack for a week!

Family conspired to give us a break at our favourite holiday spot: Lake Wanaka. It’s a long 5-hour drive, plus an hour for lunch in Geraldine, but it’s an interesting journey through farmland with snow-capped mountains to the west, past beautiful turquoise lakes and over a mountain pass. The long drive also puts distance between home and destination to make the arrival a worthwhile achievement.

We did the usual things: a walk along the lakefront to the spring and marina, pizza at The Cow, the Sunday market, a healthy juice at Soul Food, and lunch at Florence’s.

There were new experiences too. We stayed at a different place which was spacious, with a giant redwood, a stream with trout, and lovely people – some of whom we knew.

There were new discoveries as well, such as a precinct of shops and cafes, including Revology Concept Store (experience it yourself by clicking on the hyperlink) which is all about recycling and up-cycling and repurposing.

On our last day I couldn’t believe my luck when I found a new independent bookshop in front of the Paradiso cinema. It seemed to be a discovery made possible by going about on foot.

We also tried a new cafe/wine bar, Alchemy, choosing carefully so we could see the Thursday yacht race from our table. As it happened, there was no yacht race due to the wind (cowards!), but there were two intrepid wind surfers out and the wonderful lake and mountains to look at. The food was delicious. I had a summer salad with salmon, crisp slices of fresh fennel and fried capers. Frying the capers makes them open up to reveal the flowers inside. As we were leaving we encountered a cheerful group of knitters at the back of the wine bar. They allowed me to take a photo.

The highlight of the holiday was achieving the biking challenges I had set myself. There is a cycling and walking track around the lake front from Glendhu Bay to the Clutha River Mouth. I cycled to the start of the Glendhu Bay track one morning, and to Beacon Point another morning. The fresh air, the concentration needed to keep the bike on the track, and the views were exhilarating.

I felt fully refreshed; glowing with health and positivity!