Today we tried to make our fortune.
But it failed.
We travelled to a nearby small town to pan for gold. In th 1800s Arrowtown was full of the stuff; you couldn't move for it and the Chinese miners that worked there were definitely not dissapointed with their work.
Upon our arrival myself and a fellow panner, Emily, got hold of the necessary equipment - a pan and a trowel - and made our way to the nearby river, supposedly flowing with Gold! (You may be wondering where Dan was through all this. He came along, but refused to pay the $3 hire of the items, preferring instead to laugh at us as we struggled in the sand and water. It turns out, maybe, he was right.) There was a definite technique necessary to be successful in the task, and neither of us grasped it particularly well, although it is fair to say I was a tad more productive. I found a very small gold leaf, and gave it to Emily to look at.
She lost it.
I'm still poor!
But we had fun, and took a very nice walk through the woods there. You may thing that we could do this at home, and you probably would be right. But for some reason, as with everything else, here it seems a little more special. You tend to notice things more, perhaps because you feel like you should. The Autumnal colours surronded us: burning reds in the trees, and harsh yellows gave the trees a character all of their own; like a fiery old woman ready to leap at you to get you away. Some trees were completely bare of leaves, but around those were others covered in blood red berries, making the area seem a bit more intriguing - like something disastrous has or is about to happen. The contrast between the evergreen trees and these dark red berries was stark, and leant a sense of drama to the walk.
Arrowtown itself is like an old-style Western. Small wood houses, pharmacys and a post office, surronded by old fashioned sweet shops that offer toffees from jars in the window served by a man in a white coat - like the candyman from Willy Wonka! I was half expecting a Sherrifs office and a shootout at high noon.
It never came.
it was nice to see a different sort of city to escape the monotony of Queenstown. We have been here too long now I think, and we are both looking forward to travelling to Christchurch tomorrow.
It will be like a home from home!