The chu chu train is coming

Trip Start Feb 15, 2006
Trip End Feb 16, 2007

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Flag of New Zealand  ,
Wednesday, January 3, 2007

It's 5.15 am start as we find space in our bags to squeeze the last few bits in, grab a quick cup of tea, say an emotional 'good bye' to lizzy who is still feeling sorry for herself but now with a big bucket round her head to stop her biting her stitches; poor baby, chuck bags in Big Fella and we are off to the train station where we will catch the train to Picton, then jump on a ferry to Wellington where we will spend tonight.
None of us are in to long drawn our goodbyes and I'm sure George n Jazz would much rather be in bed, so we grab our bags, hug, kiss and say bye, they jump back into the Big Fella heading off to a nice warm bed glad to have their house and bath back to themselves while we gather up our bags and wait for the ticket office to open.
Have to say a massive thanks to George n Jazz for putting up with us over xmas and the new year; its been brill. Thanks to all their friends too for making us feel so welcome. Especially my dads twin for the use of his broadband to upload all the pics. We will be back one day.
So we check in for the train and thankfully we are at the front of the que which is now out of the door so we have time for one last cig and a coffee from the machine, settle into our seats and away we go.
The train is quite small with only 5 or 6 carriages and a full size viewing carriage where we can take pictures of the views as we go. The views on both sides are stunning all the way and a voice give commentary as we pass certain places. She announces that we will arrive on the Kaikoura coast line soon so if anyone wants to go out to the viewing carriage now would be the time and its well worth getting of your arse for even though we have already been up here. Ben takes plenty of pictures as snow capped mountains now come into view then we pull into Kaikoura station where we can jump off for a cig break. Ben heads down to the front of the train to take more pics, I get back on the train. As the train pulls slowly out of the station Ben is now where in sight and I hope that he is actually on the train and not still on the platform taking pictures! 45 minutes later and still no sign of him so I figure I had better walk down the train and have a look to see if he is here though there is not a lot I can do if he isn't on it. As I am walking down towards the viewing carriage he is walking up towards then tells me he's already taken 90 photos!
The running commentary continues none of which I can really remember except a train crash on a bridge where 14 people survived; funny I should remember that! There is some pinky coloured water where they get salt from but we are now listening to music through our head phones so miss most of what she is saying. Sheep, cows and horses scatter the fields running away from the train tracks as we pass and bambie darts in to near by trees; it all feels like part of a fairy tale which is yet to be written.
With just 30 minutes left across the water in the far off distance we can just make out the south of the north island. we've been though 21 tunnels and across 175 bridges; no I didn't count them all silly its written on the information card on our table. The views of the south island are stunning and I truly hope we get the time to return one day.
To be continued. . . . .
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