Ride, Seals And Stone Towers
South Island is so big (over 1,000 kms), and I had to travel from
one tip right down to the other, that a lot of the next few days
were spent travelling.
Jukes, from Nelson LETS, came to pick me up from Eva's bright and
early in the morning, and we left Nelson at 8.00am. Lindsay is a
tough but chatty guy, much like a Truckee, but his small van didn't
have the grunt that his character deserved. Most of our traveling
was at 80 kms/hr, so it was quite a surprise when finally we found
ourselves overtaking a much slower truck ahead of us.
trip to Christchurch was going to take about 6 or 7 hours. But a
couple of hours into our journey, we found ourselves moving from
a warm and sunny inland road to a dull, cold, wet and windy coastline.
And it stayed that way for the rest of our trip. It got a bit scary
too, as the wind pushed the light van across the road on more than
a few occasions.
knew the road very well, and he pointed out a couple of tourist
attractions I would otherwise have overlooked.
fact, the bad weather actually worked in our favour for the first
stop. Hundreds of large seals had come out of the stormy waters
to take refuge amongst the rocky beaches beside the road. And even
though it was still raining, I couldn't resist the temptation to
jump out of the van and take a couple of snapshots.
towers were a very eerie sight.
along, we encountered an eerie sight. Dozens of stone towers had
been built within metres of each other, using the flat and rounded
stones of which the beach was made of. It had a Stonehenge type
of feel about it. Very grand and spiritual.
Napkins, Choirs And Girl Talk
got to Christchurch by 2.30pm, and found my LETS host, Averill,
waiting for us. Averill was a taxi driver, but she'd just taken
her cab to be repaired so we'd have to spend the next 2 days using
public transport. I caught my first bus in New Zealand that afternoon,
and for only NZ$1.00 I was able to travel through 2 bus sections
for up to 4 hours. The only complaint I had was that we had to wait
in the freezing cold weather for about 15-20 minutes before the
bus arrived. And I was still cold even though I'd dressed up in
a jacket, skivy, scarf and gloves. After that experience, I began
to wonder how I'd get by in Invercargill which was another 600 kms
best news about Christchurch was the Internet Caf� rates. Because
of the large population (3rd largest city in NZ) the rates were
way down to NZ$3/hr., whereas they had been as high as NZ$12/hr.
elsewhere. Needless to say, I spent much time there catching up
with my emails and writing.
was a little embarrassing. After casually using a napkin to wipe
my fingers, I carelessly tossed it aside and within moments it caught
fire from a lighted candle. Luckily the napkin was made of material,
so I managed to put it out before it burnt to ashes. I couldn't
help but laugh (Averill didn't) at how silly I'd been. Anyway, no
real harm done.
dinner we went to the World Music Choir Concert which was performing
in the hall only minutes down the road. This concert was being held
by the Big Sing group which took singing novices through a 5 week
course ($70 fee) and gave them enough training and confidence to
perform in front of an audience by the time the concert date arrived.
The show lasted nearly an hour, after which the excited graduates
joined the rest of us for coffee and nibbles.
and I and a couple of her friends then went to a nearby pub for
a drink. I'd had so much to eat that evening, that I struggled to
get through my pint of beer. In the meantime, the girls politely
engaged in small talk as they waited for me to finish my beer. But
I soon as I took my last swallow, we were off.
article is taken from the ebook,
Land of the LETS Green
Taris web sites