Rest Area 300m

Sunday, September 25, 2005

The Skippers Canyon road in Central Otago is pretty breathtaking. The old road builders hacked and blasted a dray road out of rock and schist, in an area where the climate is extreme. It would have been a brutal undertaking. Poems have been written about it.
"A three-kilometre stretch of the road involved hand drilling and blasting solid rock to create a road platform, 183 metres above the Shotover River. This daunting task called for men with a head for heights who had to hang on ropes to complete much of the task. They built impressive stacked revetments to support the road from beneath and stone walls to provide a safety barrier for horse and dray. Today this section, aptly named Pinchers Bluff and the Devils Elbow remains as the most intact memorial to these pioneer road builders."
Built to help get heavy machinery to the quartz gold mines, these days it takes white knuckled tourists to the Shotover River.
Facing ever increasing traffic use, some of the historic hand stacked schist walls are under threat. Fortunately the Historic Places Trust is on the case.
Tourism is now the country's biggest overseas money earner, worth $7.4 billion a year.
We are in danger of becoming one giant theme park.

Male. Lives in New Zealand/North Island/The Road, speaks English. Eye color is blue.
This is my blogchalk:
New Zealand, North Island, The Road, English, Male.

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