Tags

, , , , ,

Four dudes I picked up in the South Pole on the way to Christchurch, New Zealand.

Four dudes I picked up in the South Pole on the way to Christchurch, New Zealand.

Plan A was to leave Hamner Springs at 9am and arrive in Christchurch at around 11:30am or noon at the latest. However, my car had other plans. Dead battery. Hmm. How did that happen? While reflecting on what I was going to do, I glanced in the rear view mirror and saw a light illuminated above my head. Ahh ha! Interior light and the door wasn’t open – meaning that was the cause of the dead battery.

Anywho, after completing my investigation of the cause, I started looking for someone who had jumper cables. The first person I asked spoke some sort of Germanic language and we were doing a comedy satire of the Prison warden from Cool Hand Luke, as in “What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate.”  I asked a couple of more people at the motel, but they were renting cars like I was and they didn’t have jumper cables either. I finally went back to the reception desk and asked  them if they had cables and they did, but they were being used. Nevertheless, this demonstrates how helpful New Zealanders are . . . The hotel proprietor made it his numero uno mission to get me jumper cables. Fast forward 15 minutes later, a buddy of his in the Township of Hamner Springs drove to the motel and helped me start my car. A complete stranger. Wow! I asked him how much money I owed him and I think he was a bit offended. Double Wow!  I was floored. I thanked him and the motel proprietor profusely and continued my journey to Christchurch.

Bluff I shot while on my way to Christchurch.

Bluff I shot while on my way to Christchurch.

Rolling hills were part of the scenery toward my destination of Christchurch.

Rolling hills were part of the scenery toward my destination of Christchurch.

The drive to Christchurch was quite relaxful, with rolling hills and relatively straight roads. I enjoyed the scenic, twisting coast and mountain drives I had become accumstomed to the last 4-5 days, but you really have to be focused on driving and not get too distracted by the beautiful views. I appreciated the rest I was getting from not having to make too many driving decisions every few seconds. As a result, even though I arrived in Christchurch relatively late in the day, I was well rested.

I decided that it would be a good idea to do a bit of “recon” in regard to the location of the airport and car rental agency. Finding the airport was easy  .  .  .  The car rental agency less so. It took me about 45 minutes, but I finally found it, hidden away in a seedy warehouse section of the airport.

Next stop was finding a motel near by, which was relatively easy compared to finding the rental car agency. I visited two motels that were a bit too expensive for my tastes, but hit paydirt on the 3rd place. Angie and Mac, the proprietors, were willing to negotiate, probably because it was a Tuesday and not too many cars were in their parking lot. Coupled with the fact that I was going to stay for two days, we negotiated the price down to $110 NZ per night. Quite a deal when you consider I had a two bedroom suite, with kitchen and living room. Internet was free (they get the concept. Ha.) and more important the router connection was excellent. Sold.

I decided I needed to walk and after unloading my gear, I did just that. The Ilam Motel is located on Riccarton road, a major throughfare in Christchurch. It actually leads into the city, so I decided I would walk as far as I could go and see where it led me. I ended up walking about 3 miles and then decided to turn back due to the intermittent rain and wind. I was getting a bit cold and shorts, t-shirt, and Keens weren’t exactly the smartest choice to go venturing about in this type of weather. I had gotten about as far as Hagley Park and I decided to return tomorrow. The Botanical Gardens and Canterbury Museum were located near here and I thought that was a perfect end to my New Zealand journey.

These are the photos I took today (below). I will definitely miss New Zealand. I have thoroughly enjoyed my 3 weeks here. With out a doubt, this is one of the most stunning countries I have ever seen. Equally important, I will never forget the wonderful people who live in this beautiful country.

Tomorrow, I leave for Australia, the next chapter of my round the world trip . . .

Hagley Park. I have never seen this many grass tennis courts in my entire life.

Hagley Park. I have never seen this many grass tennis courts in my entire life.

Better picture showing the dozen or so tennis courts at this park.

Better picture showing the dozen or so tennis courts at this park.

Tree was humongous. Oh, and it wasn't the biggest one either. HA!

Tree was humongous. Oh, and it wasn’t the biggest one either. HA!

Interesting metal art piece located in this pond.

Interesting metal art piece located in this pond.

I forgot to note the names of the flowers I was taking pictures of. Oh well.

I forgot to note the names of the flowers I was taking pictures of. Oh well.

Love the color!

Love the color!

I wish I had this rose tressel for the garden I had when I lived in the mountains.

I wish I had this rose tressel for the garden I had when I lived in the mountains.

This flower is obviously on steroids. Grin.

This flower is obviously on steroids. Grin.

Another plant on steroids.

Another plant on steroids.

Conservatory that was closed due to earthquake damage.

Conservatory that was closed due to earthquake damage.

Gorgeous!

Gorgeous!

More colorful flowers. Flowers make me happy.

More colorful flowers. Flowers make me happy.

Peace Bell donated by Japanese I believe.

Peace Bell donated by Japanese I believe.

More perspective on this bell.

More perspective on this bell.

Almost looks like mums???

Almost looks like mums???

Dona . . . Umm, wrong duck.

Dona . . . Umm, wrong duck.

Interesting piece of art.

Interesting piece of art.

A tree that seems alive, with branches going willy nilly everywhere.

A tree that seems alive, with branches going willy nilly everywhere.

I am always pleased to see palm trees.

I am always pleased to see palm trees.

Nice!

Nice!

Avon river that runs through Christchurch.

Avon river that runs through Christchurch.

Metal art sculpture.

Metal art sculpture.

Ancient Maori "back pack" (seriously).

Ancient Maori “back pack” (seriously).

Famous bike from the late 60s, that apparently won a major road race.

Famous bike from the late 60s, that apparently won a major road race.

Tractor type vehicle used for South Pole exploration.

Tractor type vehicle used for South Pole exploration.

Made entirely of feathers.

Made entirely of feathers.

Close up view of this Maori quilt made of feathers.

Close up view of this Maori quilt made of feathers.

Type of South Pole gear worn in 1960s.

Type of South Pole gear worn in 1960s.

I am posing in the "House of Shells." A New Zealand couple were famous for having their walls covered in seas shells. Weird.

I am posing in the “House of Shells.” A New Zealand couple were famous for having their walls covered in seas shells. Weird.

Extinct Rhino.

Extinct Rhino.

Earthquake damaged college building. Practically the entire city centre was off limits due to earthquake damage.

Earthquake damaged college building. Practically the entire city centre was off limits due to earthquake damage.

Prehistoric chicken and egg? No idea. This museum was very eclectic. Also, I have no idea which came first - the chicken or egg.

Prehistoric chicken and egg? No idea. This museum was very eclectic. Also, I have no idea which came first – the chicken or egg.

Old time bicycle.

Old time bicycle.

Outside of Canterbury Museum.

Outside of Canterbury Museum.

Museum.

Museum.

Advertisements