Holy smokes, I Live in New Zealand.

Aoraki Mount Cook.
July 18, 2008, 2:42 pm
Filed under: Actual Travelling | Tags: , , ,

My next stop was Aoraki Mount Cook National Park.  Aoraki/Mount Cook is the tallest point in New Zealand.  It was where Sir Edmund Hillary did his Everest practice.  My goal for the day was to hike about 300 metres uphill to a small, little ledge housing the Sealy Tarns.  Tarns are small, mountain lakes usually fed by glacial or snow melt.  I learned that lesson the hard way.

To exorcise this demon, I changed into my running gear and started hopping over brambles (ignoring the groomed trail 200 metres to my left) and rock falls to make it to the trail.  It was up, up and up.  It took a little over two hours to make it to the tarns, where I spent a half hour giggling like an oxygen deprived schoolgirl.

South Island 075

Full album here.

It was a lovely accomplishment after getting destroyed in the half marathon the day before.  I only rolled my ankle once during the climb (and it was the good ankle not involved in the half marathon debacle).  It was a wonderful day.  I called home after I had finished the climb.

Afterwards, I went to the resort hotel and bought an expensive fruit juice.  It was most satisfying.

Alternate link.


No Pictures Break.
July 17, 2008, 2:03 pm
Filed under: Actual Travelling | Tags: ,

After Hamner, I returned to Christchurch for a night of sleep.  The next step was a half marathon in Christchurch.  It didn’t go well.  I cramped up (or pulled a muscle, or something stupid like that) at 13k and hobbled most of the rest of the way.  That’s the last I will ever say of the Christchurch Marathon (the course was okay, a couple of the volunteers were jerks, and there was a group of Canadians running and I high fived them).

I then drove onward to Lake Tekapo for the night.  I stopped at a salmon farm along the way.  For $3, you got a little pail of food and could feed the fish.  They would frenzy around the food.  It was amongst the best $3 I have ever spent.

At Lake Tekapo, there was an outdoor skating rink and some hot pools (I don’t think they were geothermally powered).  I invited the hostelfolk out for a skate; nobody accepted the offer.  It started raining after while and the soft ice became more like slush.  I was one of the better skaters out there.

Admittedly, this is a very boring post.

Hamner Springs.
July 16, 2008, 1:40 pm
Filed under: Actual Travelling | Tags:

The second stop was a two day, one night adventure in Hamner.  Hamner is a ski town of sorts, in that Christchurchers escape there for the weekend but it’s a little bit away from the nearest ski hills.  There are hot pools there (which I did get to partake in with a rented bathing suit…eeep) and I had a wonderful little pizza from some no name place on the main street.

I went with the same friend from the train trip, who coordinated the arrival of all of her Christchurch friends for the night.  We ate nachos and drank fine cabernet sauvignons (wine) all night long.  It was pretty good.

South Island 020

Full album here.

Tranzalpine Train Ride.
July 15, 2008, 1:36 pm
Filed under: Actual Travelling | Tags: , , ,

I’m finally going to get caught up with my South Island trip here on the blog.  I was gone from May 29 to June 7, and I basically did a big circle from Christchurch through Wanaka, Queenstown, Te Anau, Invercargill and Dunedin before heading to Christchurch Airport.

My first South Island adventure, however, was a daytrip on a train through the mountains from Christchurch to Greymouth through Arthur’s Pass.

South Island 012

Full album here.

A friend and I grabbed some newspapers and rolled through one of New Zealand’s more historic rail corridors. The area we travelled through was made famous by its coal deposits. The elevation changes used to require changing engines twice to pass through the tunnel and has left a legacy of ghost train towns in its wake. Diesel engines are capable of doing what people can’t. Arthur’s Pass was one of two passes a family of surveyors was investigating for a train route through the Southern Alps. This route was chosen as “the best of a bad lot.” And the son who was surveying this particular option? His name was Arthur. Lunch in Greymouth consisted of pasta and seafood at a Speight’s Ale House. It was wonderful.

Alternate link.

Things You Don’t Realize You Miss About Home.
July 12, 2008, 12:19 pm
Filed under: Repatriation | Tags: ,


In particular, What Not To Wear.  But the American version…

More Stories About Gas.
July 7, 2008, 11:37 pm
Filed under: In the News | Tags: ,

So I’m riding the bus home with my Pizza Fresco pizza and I notice that gas is for sale at the BP for 218.9/L tonight.

You might remember that when I landed in Auckland that gas was 150.9/L.

This is me mailing in a post because I spent the weekend working and tonight packing.  I’m going to be idle for a few days while I’m getting back to Canada, but I will definitely keep blogging about New Zealand until the end of July.  Then I need to figure out what to do next…

Truck Strike! Part Two.
July 3, 2008, 7:29 pm
Filed under: In the News | Tags: , ,

My site traffic has tripled since I did up that itty bitty post about the truck strike.  So you are aware (and I can be all disclaimer-ish in the future), I heard the supposed route from a radio DJ who was interviewing a trucker at 9 PM while I was plodding my way through actual work at the office, so it may or may not be 100% accurate.

Even so, if this thing does in fact hit critical mass (and the police sure think it will), the bulk of the central city will be gummed up, as will the motorways (especially the Harbour Bridge).  The original route I forecasted is two posts down.

It’ll be a futile effort driving tomorrow morning.  You can join me on the Devonport Ferry on (hopefully) one of the 7:00, 7:15 or 7:30 sailings (I’ll be the one with a chocolate pastry and Phoenix juice) if you like.  And I will definitely be bringing a camera along.

NZ Herald coverage of the Auckland truckers strike.