Blazing through

Trip Start Jun 10, 2009
Trip End Sep 07, 2009

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Flag of New Zealand  , South Island,
Thursday, August 20, 2009

From Fox Glacier, I hitched to Greymouth. After hiking out of town in the morning, it took me about an hour before a woman stopped and took me to Franz Josef Glacier Township, about 35 km away. As I was walking out of town there, sticking out my thumb at passing cars, about the third car stopped. It was a car with three kiwi guys, and they took me all the way to Greymouth, smoking and doing drugs the whole way there (I refrained from both). It was a pretty fortunate occurance.

I had a ticket for the TranzAlpine train from Greymouth back to Christchurch for two days later, but as everyone and everything, from other tourists to guidebooks to the guys I was riding with, told me Greymouth had nothing to do and was prety worthless, I didn't want to spend two days there. The guys dropped me at the train station so I could check on moving my ticket up, and luckily, I was able to move it to the same day, to the train coming in about half an hour. I checked in, boarded the train and was off.

The train ride was amazing. It is supposed ot be one of the best in the world. I feel sort of like a broken record going on and on about how great the scenery is here, but it really is. Not only is everything beautiful, from cities to small towns to hiking trails to simple roads, one of the things I love about New Zealand is that since it has so many features in such a small area, the scenery changes every hundred kilometers or so. The TranzAlpine rail took us next to rivers through valleys surrounded by mountains, into, over and through the mountains, along the sides of cliffs and over gorges and canyons and finally though the Canterbury Plains, where you could see fields and pastures and gently rolling hills for miles around. I spent a large portion of the approximately five hour ride outside on the viewing platform snapping photos and wishing I had a better camera.

I reached Christchurch in the evening. I have four more days in the Garden City to explore it more and relax. Christchurch is my favorite city in New Zealand, so I'm glad for the extra time here.
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