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Fitness and Photography for Fun - A blog on staying fit by hiking and doing photography by David Mendosa

Fairlie and Marv‏

March 23rd, 2010 · No Comments

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Bustling urban centers like Queenstown, the center of New Zealand’s tourist industry, don’t attract me. But after leaving there yesterday morning I drove Graeme’s camper van north to the small town of Fairlie.

Most people probably think of Fairlie as “the gateway to the Mackenzie,” if they think of it at all. Mackenzie country is New Zealand’s expansive high ground that is the base of the country’s highest peaks in the Aoraki/Mt. Cook National Park. Named for a cattle rustler named Jock MacKenzie, who ran his stolen flocks here in the 1840s, this area attracted the attention of settlers when they finally caught him.

But I think of Fairlie as the New Zealand home of my friend Marv Schinnerer. Marv is a Californian who led the two-week High Sierra trek that I took last August. He was the one who first sparked my interest in coming to the incredible country.

Marv owns a small house in Fairlie and had just got here a few days before my arrival. This 73-year-old former college professor had been cycling for a month in Tasmania. He rents out his Fairlie house to a retired couple and stays in his trailer when he comes to Fairlie.

From Left: Marv's Trailer, Bike, Car, Graeme's Camper Van, Marv, His Fairlie House

From Left: Marv's Trailer, Bike, Car, Graeme's Camper Van, Marv, His Fairlie House

Click on the picture above to enlarge

As we had scheduled via email, I arrived at dinner time. Then, I took him out to dinner at the town’s best restaurant, where we caught up with each other’s life for a couple of hours.

Dinner at the "Old Library Cafe" in Fairlie

Dinner at the "Old Library Cafe" in Fairlie

Click on the picture above to enlarge

After dinner Marv and I walked from one end of Fairlie to the other. He says that its population of about 400 people is just right for him. Since it has a grocery store, a library, and Internet access, it’s really all that I need too.

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