Oamaru - Cheese Factory - Timaru (AWFUL) - Ash Vegas - Akaroa Harbour
We headed up to Timaru for lunch and a game of 3 person pool, which is excellent. So glad Cheryl from our Calgary office taught me that! Sadly the pub we elected to play pool at was the least welcoming pub I've ever been in. In fact, the whole of the town of Timaru seemed cursed with some miserableness. We lingered too long and were glad to leave.
Further cursed by proximity with Timaru our attempts to book a dolphin swim in Akaroa on the Bank's Pennisula seemed elusive and we got a lot of unhelpfulness from one of the companys down there (the big one on the jetty!). In the end, Ann-Marie got lucky and booked us on a trip with a smaller operator called Dolphin Experience which worked out well for us. An 8.30 start the same day Doug was heading home - what a way to spend your last day in NZ!
On our way to the Banks Pennisula we couldn't help but visit the MacDonalds in Ashburton (known locally as Ash Vegas). This store is becoming famous for a potential marketing blunder through the proud display of a costume once worn by a visiting Ronald MacDonald. The size of the costume needed to house the veritable Ronald seems to give further weight to the recent outcry about the unhealthiness of MacDonalds food.
Keep eating that food and YOU TOO could become the next Ronald MacDonald!
As we began across the Banks Penninsula our thoughts were with the rumoured excellent Cafe at Little River (AM had been there before with B) which also houses the
Little River Gallery. Great place to stop.
Found a great motel by the harbour quite near the excellent Ma Maison restaurant. This restaurant was the only one willing to serve us after 9pm and were very friendly and the food great!
Before we ate (and the reason we were so late to dinner) was that we decided to go for a little run (a bit risky given Doug's marathon pedigree). Fun trot around the harbour with some interval and hill training thrown in for good measure (which I think we were supposed to be grateful for!).
Overall we really enjoyed the feel of the somewhat french Akaroa!