Neither of us has been laid low by drinking untreated water, so obviously our stomachs are tougher than the Waitaki District Council believes. Which is a good thing. However, today we got a call from my doctor saying that they’d written out a script for yet another antibiotic! I’ve already got enough tablets of a different kind to last me till next week, but it seems that on the basis of the lab results that came back after my last urine sample, (taken when I visited the After Hours doctor on Friday night) they think I need to be on this different antibiotic rather than the other. Will I be resistant to anything at the end of all this? LOL
Anyway, to get this script filled we had to go to the nearest chemist, who just happens to have a pharmacy in Twizel, which is a good half hour up the road from Otematata. Celia found this out from a woman who lives near where we’re staying and she said there was a bit of a shortcut to Twizel on the Omarama Rd at Prohibition Rd. (Interesting name for a road.) We found it, and headed off to Twizel.
This is an up and coming burgh, with a great big market area surrounded by shops, and its own radio station. Twizel came after Otematata in the dam-building towns. Once everyone had finished dam-building at Roxburgh, they moved half the houses to Otematata, built the Benmore dam, and then did the same thing a decade or more later when Twizel was the new place for dam-builders to be.
All these little towns have also been long-standing places for people to go for holidays. We met one man today who’s had a place in Omarama for thirty years. To me the area is a bit dry and hot at its best to be really enjoyable, but the lakes are great for fishing and boating (if you fish and boat) and everyone comes up in the Christmas holidays and meets all the people from Dunedin who they normally see at home.
Anyway, Twizel, Omarama and even Otematata are all building shopping areas: who shops there when all the visitors go home I don’t know, but obviously they think it’s worth their while. Otematata is just in the process of completing a long building that has a grocery at one end, a café in the middle and an as yet unfinished community hall at the other. Twizel, as I said, has this very new market/shopping mall. Omarama has what appears to be an all new shopping area too. Including an antiques and collectables shop. Compared to the one in Kurow it’s like going from a child‘s bedroom after he‘s thrown all his toys around in a huff to a museum display. Here everything is labelled, in groups, tidy, walkaboutable - and there’s even a display of costumes from Hercules, Xena and some other fantasy show that was made in NZ in the early 2000s which I’ve never heard of: Cleopatra in the year 2525 or some such, if I recall.
We had lunch by another one of the man-made lakes (something with Taniwha on the end of the name), headed along the road to look at the salmon farm where the salmon were threshing about as though they hadn’t seen anything to eat for a year, whenever any food was thrown into their water. And then, after our trip to the shopping metropolis of Omarama, we stopped off at a Fish and Game reserve (it’s just before you get to the Lake Benmore Camping Ground going south). Tranquillity.
Although we’d struck rain a couple of times during the day, it was warm and sunny at this stage, and the lake was a beautiful deep blue, the flowers along the banks were a kind of lilac/purple, the hills were their usual washed-out grey/blue, and the grass was actually green in some parts. After we’d sat for a while half drowsing, we went for a walk down to the lakeside. (Yes, I walked quite some distance and managed it without much discomfort at all.) There we met the man who has had the house in Omarama for thirty years, and his wife - who turned out to be a patient at the Health Centre where my wife works. Of course. My wife said, what are the odds of meeting one of my patients in a place like this? I thought, on the basis of past experience, the odds of not meeting a patient were much greater!