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Previous Day: Day 20 Dunedin yet again

Day 21 – Dunedin – Arthur Escapes

As you might have noticed, yesterdays diary was a bit sparce on my front – mainly because after leaving Art and his Angiogram, and the news that he needed a triple heart bypass, I felt shattered! So went back to the holiday park and slept……

It wasn’t until the afternoon visit that he broke the news that he wanted to go back to Auckland for the op. There were 2 reasons for this –

1. he wanted to be in a hospital nearer home, as this made it easier for everyone (including me)
2. he still wanted to do a couple more things in South Island before surgery that was inevitably going to curtail any short-term holiday plans and activities.

The doctors reluctantly agreed, on the understanding that we drive straight back, don’t do anything strenuous (there goes the Otago Rail Trail!) and he sees our local doc as soon as we get back.

Art has other ideas – his idea of ‘straight back’ goes via the Catlins & Invercargill! I will be making sure we don’t camp any more though.

So mid-morning today, I picked Art, a prescription for 5 types of medicine, a DVD showing the results of his angiogram, and all his belongings up, and drove back to the holiday park. (we’ll see if we can publish the pictures – might be more interesting than another long sandy beach or lake)

The good news is that my heart seems to be good shape, better than 13 years ago after the last MI, but the plumbing is dire.

Lanarch Castle

We decided to visit Lanarch Castle Gardens, on the Otago Peninsula. You can pay $25 to visit the castle, or just $10 for the gardens. We decided that (as it was a lovely sunny day) we’d visit the gardens , and (a very important consideration) have a glass of red wine in the cafe.

Lanarch Castle

Lanarch Castle is privately owned by the Barker family. They bought the virtually derelict and overgrown castle and grounds in 1967, and have turned it into the most wonderful estate. The castle is really an old manor house rather than a castle, and it looks like the original house (circa 1880) has been added to with an early 1900’s glass add-on. The gardens are small (when compared with some of the larger estates), but beautifully kept. There are some lovely views over the Otago Harbour. Well worth the $10 entrance fee.

View from Lanarch Castle

The cafe is in a lovely location, and does some great food at reasonable prices (not to mention the red wine!)

You can stay at the castle too, in the Lodge or stables.

St Clairs Beach

We didn’t stay long at Lanarch Castle (a couple of hours) then headed back to the holiday park for a rest (we were both shattered – Art had an excuse, but I don’t know what mine was!!).

To celebrate his release, we decided to splurge out on a meal. The receptionist directed us to The Esplanade, at St Clairs Beach – good choice!

St Clair Beach

St Clairs is a surfing beach – and the tide was in. In fact, it was so far in that the surf was crashing against the promenade wall, and putting spray all over the parked cars. There were a lot of surfers out, all looking like seals in the distance. Some of them were extremely good! They kept us entertained until we decide to look for a restaurant.

There are about 5 restaurants at St Clairs, and all came recommended. We decided on ‘The Esplanade’, which had views onto the surf and promenade, and did an Italian menu.

Now, I’ve never understood this, but Art won’t buy pizza (‘why pay that much for a toasted sandwich?’) but will always order Bruchetta – toasted bread with a few tomatoes and parmesan cheese on top. Go figure! The main meals were a choice of pizzas, pastas, and some very well presented and cooked mains. Art went for Filet Mignon, and I went for a Fettuccine with ham & mushrooms. Both were excellent. The puddings also looked excellent, but there was no way we could manage another thing….

So now we’re back home again, it’s 9:00 pm, and we’re both ready to doze off! What a hard life…

Next Day: Day 22 – Dunedin to Curio Bay (The Catlins)

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