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Sha’s Travel Diary

Thursday, 12 Jul 2007

Location: Ashburton, New Zealand

MapHello there! Sorry been neglecting my blog enteries. Well I've escaped from the city. Currently staying in Ashburton a smallest town south of Chch. Hit the road last Sunday with Ringo for a road trip around the north of the South island. We arrived in Kaikoura Sunday arvo, stayed there 2 nights - was far too expensive to go out and whale watch, so we headed for the winery and I filled my face with beautiful green lipped mussels! Tuesday we hit the road and headed for Nelson (I love Nelson), and checked out Shrek 3rd at the cinema.

Wednesday took us up to Farewell Spit (most north point on South Island), it rained most of the day so the views of the spit were a bit damp to say the least. The worst was the journey over the Takaka Hill which I've discovered since is historically feared - feared by me for car sickness! The road twists relentlessly and seemingly endless up 791m and all the way back down again, yes the views of what could be seen through the mist were amazing but I have to confess I was white as a sheet with motion sickness, and dreaded the journey back all day - even a pint in the local at Collingwood could'nt calm my nerves; fortunately I managed to fall asleep for the journey back up and over Takaka and woke with a very stiff neck. I've decided that I could only live in that part of NZ if I had a helicopter!!

Thursday we hit the road yet again heading for Reefton down on the west coast, but Ringo took a wrong turn and we ended up spending the night in Spring's Junction - a dump of a place which was full of extremly weird locals, one garage, cafe and motel. The guy in the garage was really scary, with bad teeth and hair! I thought he resembled something out of a horror film and half expected to be chopped up during the night. Though the most terrifying experience in Springs Junction turned out to be the rat in the roof of my room, which was solved by switching rooms; though the fear of being eternally stuck in Spring's for days if we were snowed in was greater!

Next morning we took off in the snow storm over Lewis Pass for Hanmer Springs, getting stuck behind a snow plough for 5 minutes on our way, it was so beautiful really made it feel like winter had arrived. Got to Hanmer by late morning and it was still snowing thick! Hit the Hanmer hot springs in the arvo and my god the ground was freezing (to be expected really). The hottest pool 41 degrees felt like a bath with the snow falling in thick fat snowflakes ontop of everyone. Following which it was time for refreshment at the local bars with plenty of Speights consumed and a very painful snowball fight in the beer garden of the local (I landed flat on my back attacking a woman, carma or what!).

Saturday was a lazy day with carzy golf and pool and speights on the menu. Sunday was a beautiful day so hired some mountain bikes and headed out through the forests, still covered in snow. Following which we headed up into the mountains up Jack's Pass to take lot's of photos of the glorious alpine scenery.

So monday took us away and back down through to Chch, to catch up with Ulrika (Swedish friend I met cleaning in Chch) for lunch, and to grab tickets for the All Blacks v South Africa rugby game on Saturday - just repeat that in case any of you missed it YES I GOT TICKETS FOR THE ALL BLACKS RUGBY GAME!!!!! I'm sooo f**king excited! Going to be a great game as part of the Tri Nations cup. Ulrika even managed to get one on our row after and we going with two of Ringo's mates who are South African! Should be a good piss up!

And so that was my latest week, this week I've not been up to much just chilling down here in Ashburton before I head up to Wellington to work there for a wee while - thought I'd give the Capital a go before I leave, oh and I still need to get some skiing in sometime.

Well signing off now, going to play with my new toy; my iPod, had my MP3 and a few other things stolen the other week in Chch - the bastards! Later.
Sha x