We spent New Years Eve in Queenstown. Queenstown had a huge drunken mosh-pit style party going on. There was an advertised fireworks show at the stroke of midnight. … Less than impressive.
They had a few nice ones, but there were long breaks in between firings. after 5 minutes it was done. Oh well. We headed in shortly after that because we were catching an early morning bus to Christchurch. The bus ride to
Christchurch was an all day event. I seem to remember our driver driving like a lunatic. Otherwise, we passed through picturesque landscape after picturesque landscape. We saw
the bluest water I have ever seen in my life. It was bluer than the sky. (Is bluer a word?) The bus made a few pit stops. We got an awesome salad at some gas station, and an ice cream from a little shop. They were nice. By
the end of the day, we had made it to Christchurch, and the bus even dropped us off almost directly across the street from our hostel.
We only spent 1 night in Christchurch and all
I can say is
EARTHQUAKE! Now, for those of you who keep up on your world news, you know that Christchurch got slammed early last year. There was destruction all over the city. Part of it was quarantined,
which made it feel like there was some terrible disease brewing inside. Anyway, that is only a small part of why I say earthquake. I was almost physically shaken out of bed from one of the earthquakes that struck while we were there. I checked the USGS.gov site later that week, and found out that there were a total of 16 earthquakes which effected Christchurch in the few hours that we spent in there. Conclusion. Definitely an
intense place to live. Before we left Christchurch, we walked around through the city and went to a museum there. They were exhibiting “The World of Wearable Art”. It was one of the coolest museum exhibitions I have ever seen. They also had a permanent exhibition about old style new Zealand. I was about to call it their colonial period, but I don’t think that is the correct terminology.
We found a drive-away company which needed a vehicle relocated up north in Blenheim. So, we signed up and drove away. It was nice to drive a bit, but overall it was a few $ more expensive than taking the bus. We took the east coast road north the entire way. It was a great day for driving as the weather was not very nice. It was a chilly day with a constant drizzle. We picked up a hitch-hiker. He
was a soaking mess. All he had was a backpack and a skateboard. After a few minutes of getting into the van, he passed out. We took him all the way to where we were going, which
happened to be the same as him. He said he was meeting his girlfriend and was not expecting to get to see her that day. He had figured it would take longer to hitch-hike the distance. When he called his girlfriend, she seemed less
than impressed that he was there, and refused to meet him. We parted ways at this point, and I assume he spent the entire evening skateboarding around trying to hitch-hike the 6
hour journey south to where he came from. We had a nice place to stay in Blenheim with our own private shower!
The next morning we got up early and set out to do winery tours by bicycle. We only went to the wineries that gave free samples…
except for the one we went to for lunch. Strangely, there were dead birds all over the place. Perhaps they were using some intense pesticides that were killing the birds as well. We hit
the road pretty hard and made an out of the way detour to go to a candy factory. They had a massive glass wall which you could look through to see the candy being hand made. The best part was that they were giving out samples as you watched, AND the candy was being made right in front of you… not 400 miles away like in the Ben & Jerry’s factory tour. The end of our bicycle tour landed us at a brewery. This was perhaps one of the nicer stops along the way. I got a beer platter, which came with 9 different kinds of beer. Unfortunately, it was the end of our winery tour so, I barely tasted a difference. We were in the last group of people to return the bicycles on time. The owners were surprised by how many miles we had covered. They were not impressed with the number of bottles of wine we bought though, which was zero. Afterward, we went to a nice Indian restaurant, and then made our way up north to wait for the 2am ferry to Wellington!