The morning air was once again cool with a light layer of frost covering the ground, although not as thick as when I had first arrived. After several injections of caffeine, I began the 280km trek back to Dunedin but first I wanted to call in to see St Paul’s Church in Arrowtown. A building dating back to 1871, making it the oldest church of any denomination in the Arrowtown area.
Like most things in Arrowtown, the church sits on a lovely tree lined street, set back into the property to allow a grassy area out front where presumably the congregation would gather both before and after the services. As I looked around the church gardens, which were small yet lovely, I became aware that the morning was already pushing on and the traffic on the road behind me was steadily building. Yet despite the occasional passerby on foot, I seemed to have the place to myself.
Afterwards, fancying a bite to eat, I found a few tasty treats to eat in the car at a nearby shop and followed the Arrow River into the Gibbston Valley, through the Kawarau Gorge and beyond to Cromwell, Clyde and Alexandra. I passed familiar places like Fruitlands, Roxburgh and Millers Flat while pondering that one day I should leave enough time to stop and wander around these towns rather than simply driving through them.
Several hours later I found myself happily in the familiar surrounds of Dunedin as the city came into view from over Lookout Point. The light was beginning to fade and I still had a number of jobs at home that needed attending to before the day was done. At some point while driving along the southern motorway I glanced over towards the coastline that was becoming a sea of lights. For a moment I considered taking a detour out to the beach (not that I would see much), it would only be 10 minutes out of my way I reasoned. I thought about the beach and then the jobs that still required my attention at home, ‘well, why not!’ I thought.