That’s Instant Oatmeal to the uninitiated. By any name it is not a lovely (another popular Kiwi word) breakfast by itself. I have usually had a piece of fruit to cut up and put on it. A few nuts filled it out.
This morning, Jenny provided Meusli and cereal, topped with apricots and sliced banana, yogurt and honey. Then came wheat toast with butter and marmalade. The toast came with a plate filled with two fried eggs, sausage, bacon and a couple of cooked and seasoned tomatoes. What a luxurious stay. Peter (Jenny’s husband) is in the beginning stages of dementia, so my experience helped my communicating with him, and talking with Jenny.
Yesterday, Peter and Jenny’s close friend Elizabeth (about my age) came over for a chat. She lost her husband a couple of years ago after some years of caregiving. He was struck with a rare viral encephalitis that created a pretty severe dementia. We talked for a long time about our common experience. This morning, Elizabeth came by and gave me a small journal to take with me. She found journaling to be a great help after her husband died. She is not a computer user.
After breakfast, I waddled out to the car and headed out to the airport to fly for an hour over the mountains in a small plane (8 passenger). Since I was by myself, I sat in the co-pilot seat. What a treat — headphones and all. I thought I saw a look of terror in the eyes of the six couples behind me when I climbed in.
There were lakes and mountain peaks and valleys and glaciers, and what the pilot called a day that is “as good as it gets” for viewing the mountains in a plane. It was bright, sunny, with no wind other than occasional thermals as we came back through the range. We flew around Mt. Cook (the tallest peak in NZ), much of the time flying lower than the peaks around us. Because of the scale of the geography we covered, it felt as if we were weaving in slow motion through the scenery. I took lots of pictures, but they will be boring to look at since they include view after view of snow-capped peaks and rivers of ice. The experience was again spectacular and impossible to describe.
After driving a few hours, I am now outside of Christ Church in a three bedroom Motel Suite. Gratefully, I booked it from Tekapo this morning since there is an event of some sort that has filled all the available lodging here. I had to take the large suite (nothing fancy) since it was the only space they had left. The cost was actually not too much more than I would have paid for a single room in the States.
I am doing a much needed load of wash so that I can pack the suitcase and backpack for the flight to Sydney tomorrow. It is hard to believe that I have come to the end of my time in New Zealand. I can’t count how many times I just sat someplace looking around at the never ending variety of strikingly beautiful scenes, saying to myself, “I am actually here, in New Zealand, a world away, soaking in things I have never seen before and will likely never see again. I have been savoring every moment (even the strenuous and terrifying ones).
Enough for the moment. I may write later this evening since I am at a motel by myself. I am annoyed at how much I have struggled to get the uploading of pictures done. The task seems very cumbersome and time consuming. I have been too engaged in seeing what I can see and getting to know new friends to spend the time needed to get the job done. I am trying to make sure that the pictures get from the memory card in the camera to the computer so that they will be here when I do get my technological act together (or better said, get to someone who does have it together).
Off to check on the wash.