Saturday, March 29, 2008
Taking a steamer
Who doesn’t enjoy a local arts and crafts fair?
While waiting to board the steamship TSS Coleslaw…I mean, EARNslaw, I browsed through a variety of booths filled with local people showing and selling their wares. Wares they made, not were born with. Artists, photographers, pottery makers and the like.
Then, with the blow of a horn, the 1912 “Lady of the Lake”, TSS Earnslaw docked and we all got on board.
It took us across Lake Wakatipu (which is 52 miles long) and dropped us off at the Walter Peak High Country Farm.
The resident guide herded us over to see and feed some of the animals.
There was Mr. and Mrs. Al Packa
Doe (a deer)…a female deer.
A few of the local sheeeeeeeepppppp.
We were also advised to leave the stag alone. Evidently, it's his “Roaring”/mating season and he is prone to making a lot of noise and is pretty aggressive if agitated. I know that feeling…
Liz told me about “The Roaring”. Her sister has a farm full of stags and Liz said that she stayed one weekend during the roaring season and that the noise throughout the night was so frequent and loud, that she wasn’t able to sleep. Thankfully, ours seemed to be saving up his energy for the locals planning to sleep tonight.
Then we were taken over to meet the Scottish Highland cattle or “Old English Sheepcows, as I like to call them. They were very hairy and a bit disinterested in anyone that didn’t have food for them. The wee one was very cute, though.
From there, we were taken into the Colonel’s Homestead for tea and scones (ie, snacks). Free snacks are always welcome, even if they were just mini-pancakes with butter, bread with butter (sensing a theme?). They were tasty and I ate many…cause I could.
Then, we were taken over to one of their many sheep fields and, again, allowed to walk amongst the sheep and feed them. Then there was a demo on how the dog herds the sheep around (which was actually pretty fun…that dog runs fast/far and stares the sheep down until they stop in their tracks, once herded). Then, the guide let the kids (and anyone else who wanted to join in) “herd” the sheep up a nearby hill. So, off the kids ran, chasing the sheep through the field and up the hill.
This girl also joined in. The thing with her is that, just a few minutes earlier, one of the sheep had pooped on her foot while she was feeding another one nearby. She screamed in surprise and, of course, everyone laughed, including her. Then, while she was helping the little kids herd the sheep, she slipped in more poo on a slope and fell a bit down the hill. But, she just got up, laughed and headed back with all the other kids. You have to admire her spunk and ability to just roll with the flow, so to speak.
After that, the group was taken into a barn for a sheep shearing demonstration. I’ve seen that before and don’t really find it all that enjoyable…so, I slipped away and just wandered around the farm and took some more pictures of the grounds.
And for all of you "Mommie Dearest" fans....
"Christopher! Get...me...the AX!"
After everyone was finished watching the sheep get a shave, they all gathered out by the lake to wait for the steamship to pull up and take us back to the city.
When I boarded the boat, I noticed this cute little kid peeking through one of the interior windows...
So I played “peek a boo” with him for a few minutes and, while his mother was watching us and distracted by our game...I crawled around, took her wallet and various baby snacks out of her purse, then headed back to my seat to enjoy the lovely scenery all around us.
I 'm kidding…I left most of the baby snacks.
I’m not an animal.