Christchurch

Trip Start Mar 20, 2006
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Trip End Sep 09, 2006


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Saturday, June 17, 2006

And so to New Zealand...
The menu on the plane has wine listed for breakfast... well if they insist! The lovely ladies manning the Quantas flight then think we've just come from the UK and are on a different body clock and so suggest we drink booze on the flight, bubbles for free for breakfast? Don't mind if I do my dear.

Slightly merrier we have much amusement trying to rent a campervan at the airport even though we do eventually explain it would be for pick up in the morning! When we bore of the game it's into town and the joys of washing clothes. It rains all afternoon which sort of makes the chores more bearable although there should be snow tomorrow. Apparently.

We notice its a bit chillier here and so invest in more thermals, hats and warm socks. Chilly is below freezing and it will be colder, and snow tomorrow. Apparently.

The night sees the All Blacks beat Ireland which makes for an entertaining evening in town with good food and a few pints with the locals.

In the morning we pick up our mean machine, it's a converted Toyota Hi-Ace. We opt for the extra insurance as it looks a bit shonky to say the least. After instruction on how to fit snow chains we set off. Its still raining and its not the fine rain that gets in your pockets but real rain, and its chucking it down. Its snowing in the hills though. Apparently.

Rather than hang around we head down the South Island along the coast. We pass through Ashburton, Temuka in almost darkness under black skies and heavy rain. When we get to Oamaru, famous for its blue penguin colony the skies clear and we begin to get glimpses of the countryside around us. The penguins are out feeding until dusk so we move on.

The drive is now a case of seeing tantilising snippets of snowcapped mountains to our right and windswept beaches to our left. We stop at Moeraki to see the famous boulders (see photo for explanation).

We charge on through Palmerston and end up in Dunedin for the night.
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