Mount Sunday AKA Edoras
Alright, so it’s true. I can’t go too long without geeking out a bit. While skipping some of the other Lord of the Ring movie locations, there was one we just couldn’t pass up, Edoras. Mount Sunday is a hill in the middle of plains with snow capped mountains in the distance. A stunning location, as stunning as if it were described just out of J. R. R. Tolkiens Lord of the Rings as the set of Edoras. Following a night in Oamaru, a quaint little town with a lot of personality, we got up early, bought some fresh, homemade bread, some local raspberries and some fresh cheese (mmm, brie and a sheep’s milk cheese in honor of our wooly friends) and we set off. Our friends who visited back in December got us a book about Lord of the Ring set locations, but the author said we’d need to take a tour to get Mount Sunday. Psh! We could find another way. We put the GPS coordinates in and drove. And drove. And drove.
We finally got to the end of the pavement and onto a gravel road. We passed a stunning lake and many mountains. About this time, we must have been traveling no faster than 10-20 km/hr since the road was pretty awful, and our car wasn’t quite rugged. We slowly traveled along, cringing as every rock hit the car’s undercarriage, hoping for the best. We got to a location that the guidebook says is as far as you should go and a good viewpoint. It was a nice viewpoint, we could see Edoras, or Mount Sunday, from afar. But that wasn’t enough. Andrew wanted to get closer. I was hesitant, anxious for the car, but finally relented.
We drove closer and closer to the hill, and the road seemed to mellow. The rocks were more settled and easier to traverse. We kept going closer and closer and then we hit a ford in the middle of the road. There was one very large divot in the road. Would our car make it? Andrew got out and said the angle appeared steeper than it really was, we could make it, he said. I held my breath, closed my eyes, and thankfully, the car went past, no problem.
We got to the base of Mount Sunday and low and behold, the owners of the property now permit folks to walk up the hill! Woo-hoo! Talk about luck. We threw on jackets, locked the doors and set off. Do you remember when I talked about all those animals pooing? Yes? Well now I know where all that shit went. The ground was COVERED with cow, sheep, deer and goat poo. Everywhere! I’m pretty confident there will be some animal’s feces stuck to the underside of my shoes forever. Buhh!
Not too long of a walk, but pleasant enough, we made it to the top of Mount Sunday. I put on my best Eowyn impression and Andrew pretended to be king and we reveled in our visit to the lands of Rohan, Middle Earth.
And, just for fun, on our way onward when we stopped at a public restroom, we made a new friend, Mr. Hedgehog.