Te Araroa Start

Te Araroa Start

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Christchurch to Queenstown

I only spent a night in Christchurch. It is clearly a city still rebuilding. Empty lots in the central area are clear markers that something once stood in those spaces. Parking garages closed, streets blocked off everywhere, and many shops not open. Although it was a couple of years ago the earthquake's effects were still apparent. 

The day ended with some laundry (done in the sink as always), a hot shower and a night in a single room... Oh the privacy!!! Then off to the bus once again for another day of traveling. I didn't mind this time as the South Island varies from the North. New landscapes to enjoy.

 It began with the coast line, which I slept through much of. But then I was lucky enough to see Lake Tekapo, where we stopped for lunch, in front of Aoraki (aka Mount Cook), New Zealand's highest summit. 

After this we continued on into the mountain range. Instead of the rolling green hills I had seen on the North Island there were mountains all around, tussock and brush growing. Some vineyards in a valley close to Queenstown were also readily apparent on the way. It was in stark contrast to the Canterbury Plains we had passed through in the morning. 

I saw this ridge line as we neared Queenstown. The adjective that first came to my mind was "remarkable". And what do you think the name of these mountains are? You got it - The Remarkables. A sign directed down the road to them for winter skiing.

After we passed that road and got to the other side if the ridge line they were even more towering and beautiful. I snapped some photos with my camera, totally forgetting my phone. I managed to snap this one as we continued to Queenstown with Lake Wakatipu at the bottom. 

I walked a bit around Queenstown to feel the vibe. It feels busy for its size, and young. Of course, they call it the adrenaline capital of New Zealand, with chances to hang glide, sky dive, bungee, etc. so I suppose it attracts a young crowd. Outside the town is the bridge where the first bungee site in the world is. Historical, but I bungeed once before - which was enough for me in a lifetime. 

I had some noodle stuff I can't remember the name of for dinner, took a shower and have settled in for an early evening. I have a day tour to Milford Sound tomorrow... I will get to see the fjordland and take a cruise as well to see waterfalls and fish, and greenery. Knock taking a cruise off the life to do list as well (although one day I will take a longer luxury cruise). It's supposed to rain and be chilly tomorrow. One thing I am glad for is the layering system of clothing I packed for my trek. It was light and minimal but prepared me for any type of weather except a freak blizzard. 

I am all set up to get up, grab, and go for the morning. I saw a 24 hour convenience store (a rare breed in this country) on the way to the bus stop from which I can purchase a breakfast of some kind to eat in the morning. Another gal in my hostel room is doing the same tour, so I will likely have a traveling companion for the day tomorrow. Tally ho!!! Ready for the last days of adventure!!!

No comments:

Post a Comment