Little Valley Road – Buy
In the morning I awoke with that feeling of dread that overcomes you the second you first open your eyes and realise the first few moments of the day are going to encompass dealing with your own stupidity. I’d forgotten to leave the heating on and as such my room was like a ice box. The only way to solve this problem was to either brave my way across to the heat pump and set it so the room temperature resembled a Caribbean Island as quickly as possible, or dash straight for the shower and the instant awakening from a blast of hot water.
I braced myself and got up, heading for the shower, stopping only momentarily to flick both the kettle and heat pump on. A short while later, having readied myself for the day which included packing, I headed out into a fine Central Otago morning. The streets were quiet with the only signs of life being parents desperately trying to get their children into the family car for Saturday morning sport. I headed across town and five minutes later I was crossing the Manuherikia River and driving up Little Valley Road into the hills above Alexandra where I would be able to enjoy seeing the Alexandra Clock up close. The clock was installed in 1968 and has been keeping regular time ever since, apart from a brief period in 2020 when someone swung on the arms of the clock during lockdown and it stopped, forcing repairs to be made. To get to the clock there’s a very steep track that can be navigated, something I wasn’t prepared to do on this trip, however you do get to glimpse the clock as you head to the observation deck and lookout in Little Valley. I headed there now and found myself with views that simply are outstanding. As I took in the view in the crisp morning air I noticed most of the activity seemed to be coming from runners heading out of town onto one of the many dirt roads that surround the town. The smoke from chimneys started to drift across the valley and in the distance the traffic heading further inland seemed to already be growing. I suspected most people forget about views such as the one in front me.