Wednesday, 26 April 2006

Nick in New Zealand

I'm writing this from Hanmer Springs, about 2 hours north-west of Christchurch, in a really nice little backpacker's lodge. There's a coin-operated computer in the lounge, warmed by a lovely wood fire. It's a bit chilly out, but not too bad. Just cold enough to appreciate coming in to the fire.

I missed the tilt train from Bundaberg to Brisbane, because I thought I'd booked tickets on a service that didn't actually exist. So Michelle and I caught a coach down overnight, which was awful, but at least we got there in time for the flight out. The rest of the trip was easy, and I arrived in Christchurch to meet the assembled Young family, a hoard that was somewhat overwhelming at first. I have heaps of young cousins I'd never met before - they're really cool :D
I love this family, and I'm ashamed I haven't kept in contact with them. They're so much like me sometimes it's scary :D

The first few days, until today, Wednesday, have been one family event after another. Everyone was here for the wedding on Saturday, which was really nice, and slowly left over the next few days. This morning, two of my cousins and I took off in a rental car for a little road trip.
Things have actually worked out incredibly conveniently. One of my uncles had won a 2-day car rental as a prize in a golf tournament (this family loves sports) and, having no use for it himself, offered it to me. As it turns out, the rental is a gigantic 4WD, fully insured (which would kill me as an under 25 driver otherwise), petrol paid for, and not due back until Friday at 5pm.

So we've spent the day in Hanmer Springs, a tiny town famous for its hot springs warmed by geothermal vents. After a fish & chips lunch, the girls soaked in the springs (without me thanks to my still healing foot), whilst I took the 4WD up a winding one-lane gravel road up the mountainside. I got some nice photos from that, I trust. The rest of the evening has been spent over a leisurely dinner and relaxing in the lounge here. (I've never stayed at a backpacker's lodge before, but I always imagined a sort of run-down, roudy place. This is clean and quiet, but very welcoming, it's great.)
Tomorrow we'll head north-east back to the coast, to spend the day in Kaikoura, where there are whales and seals and stuff. Should be cool. Before that though, we'll stop at the bridge over the ravine leading into Hanmer Springs, and I'll try bungee jumping. That's the plan. I trust my courage will hold - at any rate, now I've posted this I'll have to if I'm to keep any pride :)
We'll head back to Christchurch Thursday night, and on Friday - the last day of the rental - I'll probably go south-east in the oposite direction to Akaroa.


Sarah said...

I kept dreaming that you were going to miss your train or flight. See! It happened! :o

I hope you're taking heaps of photos :D

Brett said...


Good to hear from you :D Glad you are having a great time in New Zealand.

Bungy Jumping :O wowsers!

Belly said...

Gee, I didn't even know you were going to NZ, let alone being there. Goes to show how much I am out of the loop :-)

Bungy Jumping, wow, must suppy photo's on your blog!!!!

Catch up with you when you get back.