Travelling from Te Anau to the south coast involves driving part of the way, cheek-to-cheek with the ruggedy old Takitimu mountain range.
Historic railway goods shed ...
... and railway station. (Old railway stations seem to be another theme on this trip).
Te Waewae Lagoon on the coast between Tuatapere and Orepuki.
After a little wander around Tuatapere (partly looking for, and failing to find, the maternity hospital where I was born) it was back on the road again, heading for the coast and Orepuki, the town where I lived for the first ten years of my life ...
And continuing with the gate theme ... (see my previous post)
I was really looking forward to stopping off at the new restaurant that has recently opened in Orepuki, mainly because it was my Great-Aunt Mary's old house, a 100-year-old (or thereabouts) wooden villa that has been restored. She was Mrs.Mary Simpson, the daughter of my great-great grandfather, Henry Hirst, a Yorkshireman who founded the original township of Orepuki (calling it Hirstfield).
My Aunty Lorna is also looking forward to visiting the cafe. She wants to tell them that they should have called it, 'Aunty Mary's'. That's what the family on my mother's side have always called the house; we'd struggle to call it anything else.
Mum remembers the gate (in the photo above) well, as she went through it often when visiting Aunty Mary, delivering her mail and sometimes staying to have lunch. She also remembers the people who lived in the house before Aunty Mary lived there. She told me the owners owned a parrot which sat on the gate and spoke to people walking past.
And Aunty Mary also sat (not on the gate!) but on her front porch. From this vantage point she could see what was going on in the town and call out to people going past.
I also remember being with my mother once when she visited Aunty Mary, who was in her 90's by then, dressed in black; a rather formidable old lady.
This is the end of the road where we used to live. In the distance, Te Waewae Bay. It's a view permanently imprinted on my memory - like an internal tattoo.