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Jay Lake
Date: 2013-08-03 05:45
Subject: [travel] In Oamaru, NZ, day two - cheese, steampunk and penguins
Security: Public
Tags:art, books, child, cool, documentary, friends, new zealand, radiantlisa, steampunk, travel
Yesterday, [info]the_child, Lisa Costello and I went with [info]danjite and [info]khaybee to the Whitestone cheese factory, Steampunk Headquarters, a playground featuring a giant rotating barrel like a human hamster wheel, a working Victorian bookbindery operated by Michael O'Brien, and the blue penguin colony. The Waterloo Productions crew came to some of this as well.

In order...
  • We ate some killer cheese, including the butteriest bleu I've ever put in my mouth, and saw the cheesemaking rooms

  • We saw a wonderfully bizarre steampunk installation that ran to rooms of kinetic art and found industrial sculpture, along with an outside area that was a playground for the machinery-inclined — this is a must-see destination for any serious steampunker

  • [info]the_child ran around inside a rotating barrle about 7 feet in diameter — so did I, which resulted in me learning not to try a human sized hamster wheel while walking with a cane

  • We spoke for a while to a fascinating fellow who lives la vida Victoriana to someplace well beyond the hilt, while also producing some amazing books-as-artifacts

  • We saw blue penguins, wee little fellows about a foot tall, come ashore and seek their nests — this was stupidly cute and somewhat silly, and a lot of fun

  • There were also coastal vistas, penny farthings, and random penguins on the city street

So, yeah, loads of fun.

On the flip side, touring while disabled is a stretch for me. I move a lot more slowly than I ever did when healthy, have to rest more, and simply cannot do some things. (In yesterday's case, climb atop an armored apocalyptic railroad car, or walk on the beach.) Plus needing a bathroom about once per hour really puts a crimp in things. New Zealand seems very accommodating to the mobility impaired, and well supplied with decent public restrooms, so it is working out okay.

Also, we are taking tons of pictures, but do not currently have the bandwidth to upload them. You will see... More to come on almost all of the above topics, time and bandwidth permitting.

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User: martianmooncrab
Date: 2013-08-02 18:21 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
the bookbindery looks fascinating...
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Wm Leler
User: Wm Leler
Date: 2013-08-03 00:09 (UTC)
Subject: Bathrooms
When my wife and I lived in NZ for 5 months a few years ago, I remember that every last town (including the small ones) had three things: a public bathroom (if you get a chance, visit the ones in Kawakawa built by Frederick Hundertwasser), a skateboard park, and a friendly and helpful tourist office (I-Site).

Oamaru was one of my favorite places. I could definitely retire there.
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User: msconduct
Date: 2013-08-11 05:40 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Yeah, Whitestone cheese is nice. That butteriness is typical of all our good cheeses - no wonder we have a high rate of heart disease. I hope you get to try one of our wicked double cream bries.
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January 2014
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