My last full day in New Zealand I decided to venture out on my own. I picked up a brochure in the hotel that offered a bus to and from Akaroa, a French settlement in New Zealand. The brochure indicated for $10 more you could get a full scenic tour of the Akaroa area, but the driver who picked me up had no idea about that, so I was on my own. To his credit, he went above and beyond the standard drop off shuttle and actually stopped once each way to let us use the loo, and at various points along the way to explain Maori culture, New Zealand history, or to let us snap a few pictures. Here he was explaining to us how the eels would try to make it from the nearby lake, across the shore, and into the sea. The Maori were allow to catch them at this time, but only the Maori are allowed to do so.
This was a Maori meeting place where he stopped to explain the ceremony required for an outsider to be invited to enter.
Akaroa harbor has a little island in it called whale island, for I think obvious reasons.
As I had hours to kill before the bus came back for us, I decided to wander off the beaten path to find The Giant’s House, the self-proclaimed World Famous mosaic sculpture garden that is the creation of a lady in her 60s with bright blue hair.
Her terraced backyard is combination garden and mosaic sculpture; and for $20 she warmly greets you (offers you an umbrella in the rain) and allows you to wander her quirky creations.
From the blue hair I’m guessing several of her mosaics are self-portraits. Even some of the walkways were mosaic, which made for a slippery challenge in the rain; especially since her house (and backyard) is on a very steep incline. The adventure did not last very long but it did make the time go by.
It was the end to my New Zealand adventure. The next day brought me to the airport and back to the reality of life’s daily frustrations. It was a grand adventure. I glimpsed Middle Earth, tasted some New Zealand staples (gluten free), and managed more than one fear-busting challenge along the way. I am sad that it is over. It was a dream I had held for so long, and now it has come and gone; but how few of us are able to make our dreams a reality. I was blessed. I will always treasure it. And now…for a new dream.