01 February 2011
03 October 2010
24 July 2010
I end up spending almost the entire day reading and manage to just make it out to the Japanese Garden to read for a while before the sun goes down. Then I myself must pack for my flight the next day.
The next morning I get some time to slowly get myself together before the shuttle comes to pick me up and whisk me off to the airport. The shuttle driver is quite nice and we pick up a young lady and her son who will both be on my flights to Palmy. The driver takes us the long way to the airport to give me the total view of Nelson. Once again, I’m shocked by the ease of flying within NZ. I simply show up and hand them my bag and tell them where it’s going. They require no ID and there is no security screening before I get on the plane. They hardly even glance at my ticket. It’s a fairly short flight to Christchurch, where I debate going out to look at the city before my next flight, but decide it’s not worth the risk of getting lost. Besides that, I remember coming over the hill and seeing the city for the first time and immediately thinking “this is not a place I want to be.” So I settle down to write out more blog entries which will not be entered online for quite some time as it turns out. I eventually make it back to Palmy where I can semi settle back in. While I still feel like I’m living out of a suitcase here, it’s slightly less bad than living out of the back of a car. At least here I get a closet and a kind of room (jail cell like though it may be) to spread my stuff out in.
23 June 2010
20 June 2010
We drive a long and winding road to make our way to the small town, a place I’m told is a must see by my friend Winnie back home. When we finally crest the hill that leads into the village, we see a peaceful harbour filled with boats and a quaint French looking village at along the shore. While all appears peaceful today, the area was quite violent back in 1832 and lead to one of the most important events in New Zealand history. The Captain of the British ship Elizabeth, John Stewart, helped the North Island Ngāti Toa chief, Te Rauparaha, to capture the local Ngai Tahu chief, Te Maiharanui, his wife Te Whe and his young daughter, Roi Mata. The settlement of Takapuneke was sacked. Concern over the complicity of John Stewart, along with other lawlessness among Europeans in New Zealand, led to the appointment of an official British Resident James Busby to New Zealand in (1832). This was the first step in the British involvement that led to the Treaty of Waitangi.
While I take very few photographs of this part of the journey, it is still amazingly beautiful. All along the way are endless perfect beaches and sunny blue skies, quite the opposite of what we were experiencing down in the bottom of the south. We eventually wind our way along the ridges to Lyttleton, the smaller of the two volcanoes.
Just over the final pass we get our first view of Christchurch. This city is massive; it seems to stretch on and on forever. It’s an amazing shock to the system after all the farmland along the way, with almost no people anywhere. I can immediately tell I don’t want to spend time here and am somewhat thankful we didn’t make it to sleep there the night before. It takes us quite a while to make our way through the traffic lights and out the other side of the city after a quick petrol stop.
Our next journey is somewhat inland, with a peak here and there of the ocean, but there’s virtually no stopping all the way in to Kaikoura. We make it there just after the sun sets and get a general idea of the beauty of the place before darkness takes over and we find our hostel. We take a walk to the grocery store to get our last supply of food for the night and lunch the next day. I can’t believe my dad will only have one more day here and in two days I’ll be heading back to school. It’s gone by incredibly quickly and I want nothing more than to continue the experience. I joke with my dad that he doesn’t really need to go back and neither do I, we can just tramp around the north island next. This is of course not a real possibility, but we enjoy our last bits of time in NZ by soaking up the heat of the spa tub they have at the hostel. This one is quite nice in the sense that it’s like a little swimming pool and we have the whole outdoors to ourselves, but, as seems to be the Kiwi way, the water is only just at body temperature, which is not quite warm enough to massage away the aches of sitting in a car all day. We finally muster the courage to run through the cold back to our room before making dinner.
We’re now working against the clock, with the ultimate goal of getting to Kaikoura and then Nelson for the car return after that. Kaikoura is supposed to be one of the majorly beautiful places along the way, so we plan to see what we can before cutting away from there. So the goal for this day is to make it to Dunedin. And we’re greatly successful, the next day is supposed to be set aside for Christchurch, but we’ll leave that for later. The east coast has somewhat less to offer in the way of visual splendour, so we make our way along quite quickly. We do however stop for a walk out to a lighthouse where we get our first glimpse of some seals. They’re so far below us that really I can only see them by zooming in with my camera and looking at the pictures later. They even have babies playing around in the water, which is endlessly adorable.
The peninsula with the lighthouse on it appears to be a spectacularly popular seal colony home. While this has been a nice sighting, I’m hoping for a bit more; ones that I can perhaps wee without the aid of a camera and computer.
We end our day’s journey in Dunedin, a city with a major university for the south island. We search for quite a while to find somewhere to eat before finally settling on a nice looking little student place. Here is where I get my first taste of venison, in ravioli form. My dad goes for the lamb, to get a feel for where all those sheep on these islands get to. After a pleasant meal, we make our way back to our hostel and try to plan the next day. I want to get to see Sandy, but I know we’ll be pressed for time. We decide to stop in the Otago Museum before leaving town.