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Flag of New Zealand  , Canterbury,
Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Today we caught up with Garth, a good Kiwi friend of Arne. We told him we wanted to do some sight seeing, so he volunteered to drive us around. We have our own rental car here, but try telling him that. Kiwi hospitality can be pretty stubborn, and arguing just gets ignored. Or maybe that's just Garth. But truth is that we have yet to find a Kiwi in a bad mood. Some seem a bit overdosed on the happy pills, but most are very helpful and easy going.

There is no way that car rides could ever get boring here. No matter where you go, the sights alone are totally worth it. Today was a bit of a dreary day, with the mountain tops hiding in the clouds, but we still saw plenty. Garth kept pointing to the clouds, telling us which mountains we were missing out on, and apologizing for all the rain. (note that it was drizzling, which doesn't even get qualified as rain in Belgium)

We stopped over at his fathers farm to say hello, so we could have a look at some Angus cows up close. They're these huge black cows, extremely docile, and very curious (Also very tasty). Garth grew up in this town, at a time when there were only 35 people living there. Now there's a wopping 200 something inhabitants. Apparently that's considered crowded here.
After promising his dad he wouldn't wait until the next time some foreigners wanted to see some cows to drop by again, we continued on. 

Eventually we arrived at this beautiful valley with a stunning view, even in the cloudy weather. We ended up leaving the car just before the second fjord. The snow melts up in the mountains at spring, so fjords can flood quite fast, leaving you stuck on the wrong side. You're also supposed to break right after crossing one, to get rid of all the loose stones and excess water in your brakes. Good to know.
Watched by more Angus cows who seemed to think we were there to feed them, we made our way down the road for some more picture taking. Not all are really publishable, but they turned out pretty good, regardless of the weather.

After driving back we had dinner with Garth and his wife, Patsy, and his three kids. Garth had apparently told his son to speak slowly, because we didn't speak any English. After hitting him for that, we had a lovely evening amongst lovely people.
It was great fun to finally meat the family. It's nice to know we still have some time in Christchurch to spend with them before we start our trek across the country.

Note; extra points to whoever can guess what Arne is looking at. And no, Angus cows don't count.

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Arne on

Maybe it would help if we photoshopped The Remarkables in the background... Because it does look totally different when the clouds don't cover the mountaintops.

Jorik on

En dankzij deze comment van Arne en een paar seconden in google weet ik nu eindelijk welke locatie het is :p
Tis echt te lang geleden om het nog te herkennen, zelfs met de fotos zonder wolken...

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