New Zealand

Trip Start Jan 03, 2007
Trip End Aug 30, 2007

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Saturday, April 21, 2007

Wow! New country, new socks!! flip flops with socks!! What a temperature drop!! We left hot, muggy Cairns and arrived at midnight to 10degrees!! Brrrrrrrrrr! How cynical are we = after our dodgy taxi experiences from Asia, we were even convinced that the taxi driver here was taking us the LONGEST way round the city to get to our hostel!

It was an interesting place - a SHIM (She and Him combo - at least looking 6ft tall, but in a 6inches tall little dress) was loitering on the corner of our street and a strange little man in our TV room seemed equally bizarre. Welcome to NZ!! Dawn brings a bright but cold outlook and a determination to maintain the past 4 months of living in flip flops! However, some beautiful NZ / KIWI socks were required to avoid frostbite!

With only 1 day in Christchurch, we decided to priorotise and make plans for the day over BREAKFAST - yum! We wandered to the central square and had a look in the lovely old cathedral - tiny really considering it's the main city of the South Island. The square had a giant Chess game going on and a small crowd entertained by the intensity of the players! There was a rather 'interesting' sculpture outside the cathedral celebrating the Millennium (in some way!!). Unfortunately, makes C looks like Queen of the 'coneheads'!!

Couldn't resist a ride on the tram loop. It pottered it's way around the key tourist area and we jumped off to have a browse at the Arts Centre. Here we decided NOT to buy the merino wool nipple and willy warmers as parent presents and opted for window-shopping.

A different mode of transport, we spent half an hour enjoying the atmosphere and climate on a punt on the River Avon. Our 'punter' (or were we the punters??) had the strangest accent and to be fair, babbled on in a nonsensical way, bless him. Very pretty environment.

With a tight schedule and only 2 weeks to do it in, we went off to get our van and stock up with grub. Drove a few hours and made it to Ashburton, realising that our van was distinctly more squeaky and smelly than our previous Oz versions! With paper thin duvets and me, who gets a chill in anything under 30degrees, we got permission from Maui to purchase some fleece blankets! All very necessary when your breath smokes and your hairy legs are constantly to attention! Joy!
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