Thursday, April 14, 2016

Rata Blossom Festival and Otira Time Warp.

Return to Otira for the Rata Blossom Festival.

Trip 22 5th Feb 2016
After some more improvements to the bus in the way of a new box at the front between driver and navigator for technology with a charging hub and a drivers armrest box. 

I plugged up gaps around windows and passenger door to hopefully seal out the sandflies. Washed the many cobwebs off the bus and loaded one bike, my mountain bike and the 20" unicycle. Left the lane about 12.30 then to the supermarket to stock up, hitting the road getting diesel and coffee at Brightwater. We had lunch at the Waiiti domain, quite a nice large open area up the back away from the traffic noise. (saved for future use)
Through Murchison and Reefton where we had a break to stretch our legs. Christine is using a new GPS app for the android Samsung cell phone ( which seems to work quite well.

We arrived at the Otira Hotel at 6.58pm (2 minutes ahead of the apps arrival time) via the back route from Lake Brunner, Moana and onto State Highway 73. I parked up backing behind the large shingle pile near the Hotel and away from the road noise.

An old rusting pile of railway lines.... 
Saturday after a lazy breakie, the festivities were late in starting, also the Rata Blossom were not going to happen this year due to weather conditions and other factors, however the Festival was definitely on! I wandered around down to the Otira Railway station  about 100yards away, which was interesting with some of Lesters odd weird stuff under semi cover.
I'll bet this platform could tell a story or two!

Just what you'd expect to be sitting at the Otira Railway Station
Yeah Right!
Vintage Fiat with Gorilla in a cage...Hmmmm.
More photos down the road past all the unoccupied houses 
and a large building where the Otira Farmers Market used to be.
Pretty cool building tho the Otira Farmers Market no longer happens.

Heaps of interesting Junk about outside...probably more and better inside?
An old carriage turned into a neat batch!
I reckon
We also saw the black powder guys firing old muskets from Reefton
...these guys seemed to be stuck in a time warp.

Lester Rountree the owner/publican/horseman and another time warp individual and full blown character, 
showed some of his collection of artefacts and below?

On come the Clydesdales 

Lester got his two Clydesdales with a tow rope and got the public
 (around 24 people) to try and hold them but to no avail. 
Sunday the Penny Farthing society from Oamaru were up practicing for their races. 
Everything they do, seemed to be in the spirit and period of the Victorian era

This is how you get on a Penny....not how you spend a Penny

The Oamaru boys turned out to be really good value, they even went down to the Raiway station and cycled around for the Trans Alpine  tourist train, which stopped there after they disconnected 3 of the 6 engines which pull the train over, up and down Otira.
The Penny farthing riders really performed with fun and aplomb.
Giving the tourists something to gawk at and photograph

Lester then hitched up the draught horses to the Stagecoach...if you look closely the back wheel tyre on the coach is held on with bailing twine.....meeting health and safety requirements for State Highway 73 joy rides around the block!

Not every day you see a stagecoach leaving the Pub with Can-can girls from the Coast!

We left there around 1.30pm ish heading for home and onward to Greymouth  After some Fish and Chips at Cobden we then took off for Slab Creek Hut south of Reefton getting there around 7.20 pm taking these photos of Kereru feeding and flying.

All in all another successful trip away in our Motorhome.
Still in catchup one will be Heading North across the Cook Straight, Tattoo and Art Deco bound!

Stay safe and well...above all...have fun!

Jimu & Christine

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