Monday, November 15, 2010

Oamaru, Otago

Last weekend was beautiful. It began when I got a text from Dominic in the middle of my Staff Training on Integrity- you know as an attribute and characteristic of a person in the work place and in Parachute Music. So I was disturbed by the buzz of my phone in my pocket and I decided I wanted to see the text immediately just in case it was something important.

I probably shouldn't have, because after reading that text I couldn't concentrate on the training anymore. The text was Dominic asking me if I was ready for the weekend trip! The weekend trip! The Oamaru trip!

I had totally forgotten about it! I had been making plans to do nothing over the weekend and just relax at home... And then this text reminded me: I had to catch the flight that Friday night straight after work and fly to Christchurch to drive to Oamaru.

After a messy series of texts and planning and laughs with Chris and Danny (when I told them I was supposed to be in South Island that very evening) I was on my way to the airport, but not before I grabbed my passport and a few clothes for the weekend.

Dominic and Calvin (and his sister) got me from the airport. Immediately we were well on our way to Oamaru. The drive there was eventless. I can't remember anything about it, except eating some Fried Rice at the back from the plastic boxes.

Oamaru was a very pretty and quaint town with a lot of character. Though I didn't see much of it next day, because we drove straight to the Narnia film site (which was the main reason we were there), the little that I did told me that Oamaru is a town that is not trying to be something else. It has a lot of charm and old buildings and is very much treated like a Victorian English town.

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The wine farms (wineries?) of Otago struck me speechless. They were green and lavish in their summer-liness. The countryside and farming lands. And the further from the town we went the closer we got to the mountains which began only hazed and grey in the far horizon.

Narnia film site was stunning. Not because it was a film site. In fact people who weren't hard core fans of Narnia like Dominic is, wouldn't even realise that it is a film site. It is just a private farm, with bits of land cordoned off by electric fence, watched by farmers on the four wheel drives and cows and a few horses.

I had a lot of time to explore the place on my own (which I always love doing, if you're asking). I got buzzed by the electric fence two times. Thank goodness the volts weren't high. Else, I kept wondering what it would be like to be found dead somewhere under a bush of trees or in a corner of a countryside, had the electric fences been fatal. But don't you worry: those fences were just to scare cows and livestock from crossing fences. Just enough to give one a rough (and rude) jolt.

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I remember the spot we had lunch at. Under the shade of the trees. A herd of cows came and watched us for a bit, looking very curious. I took a nap in the shade. And as the day progressed the sun started to creep up my feet and then my jeans, til I had to move away.

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Oamaru as a town is, as I said, very quaint. The markets that open in weekends I think, are full of interesting things. There was a Steampunk exhibition happening in town and there were interesting art pieces of futuristic old robots and cars and trains at the town centre. We saw some people dressed up in futuristic but old fashion too, doing some filming and photography.

Of course Dominic had to do it too. We got dressed up in Victorian clothing and took a couple of photos (officially done by a photo store called Photo Shoppe).

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I'd like to go back there one day and explore the many stores and even the farms and houses in the countryside. Maybe, meet interesting people around there.

Maybe.

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