Day 15: Lake Ohau to Christchurch

Trip Start Aug 04, 2012
Trip End Aug 20, 2012

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Flag of New Zealand  , South Island,
Sunday, August 19, 2012

Today, we woke up around 7 and went down for breakfast at 7:30, where we had eggs and toast. Then, bags to coach was at 8:20, and we were making our way back to Christchurch.

During our time on the bus today, we got to dedicate songs to each other, since it was our last day all together. I wanted to play "I'm From L.A." by Go Betty Go for Jessie, but lucky for her, Jack beat me to it and played "You're Beautiful" by James Blunt instead. I played "I'll Be Waiting" by Adele for Mo, which he loved. Then, Laura played "Just The Way You Are" by Bruno Mars for me, and some people thought it was from Mo, which I found hilarious. Somebody played "London Bridge" by Fergie for Kay-Marie, and she didn't even recognize the song, which seems like blasphemy for someone from England. It was a lot of fun.

On the way to Christchurch, we stopped at Lake Tekapo for pictures of the lake, the mountains, and the Church of the Good Shepherd, which is one of the most photographed churches in New Zealand. There were two different couples there taking wedding photos down by the lake.

Later, we had a bathroom stop in Rakaia where there was a giant fish statue. We also stopped in Geraldine for lunch and to see "the world's biggest knitted jumper." It ended up being even more underwhelming than the steampunk train, because the shop it was in was closed, so we just saw it through a dark window. I had a chocolate danish while we were here, and I finally tried one of those Calippo things that my parents kept telling me I had to try.

When we got to Christchurch, we made dinner plans. The hotel restaurant wouldn't be able to take our giant group until 8, so we thought about buying something to eat beforehand, but then decided to just eat from Jessie's stash of granola bars and apples.

We had some time to kill, so I went out to find a geocache so that I could say I found one in New Zealand. On the way back, I stopped at a gas station to try to get money out, but the ATM didn't accept Visa cards. I was pretty worried that if the restaurant didn't let me pay with my card, I wouldn't have enough cash for dinner that night AND for my shuttle to the airport the next morning. Jessie gave me some money (to make up for the fact that I apparently paid 2/3 of the price of her Skyline dinner), and Kay-Marie traded me a little bit of New Zealand money for some of my leftover Australian money, since she was going there next.

Before dinner, a bunch of us sat at a big table out in the courtyard. It was really cold, but it was nice spending time with people since it was our last night together. For dinner, I had the BLT, and they did end up letting me pay with my card, so it was fine. Then we had to say goodbye to everyone, which was hard. I hugged soooo many people, which I don't usually do, so you can tell I must have really liked my Contiki friends. Jessie and I had a room to ourselves, so we got to go to bed early, since I had to catch a shuttle to the airport at 4am.
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