Wednesday, November 24, 2004


Apologies for the lack of postage here in the last few weeks - I have been flat out at work, organising a big corporate conference hoo-har do which went off fairly well last week, and I then took a well-deserved break for a few days, and visited my big sis in Christchurch. Had a brilliant time - managed to survive a few ordeals and pack lots of stuff into the 4 days, like:

- almost not getting to Christchurch at all. I had to catch a bus to Canberra city centre, then change to a bus to Sydney, and catch a train from Sydney central to the airport. Somehow I got my timing mixed up, and arrived in Canberra city with 2 minutes to spare... raced over to where the Sydney bus was departing from (lugging my Very Heavy Bag with 6 bottles of WA wine for my sister) and almost cried when they said the bus had just left. I had a brief flash of hope when they said I might catch it turning out on to the main street...and sure enough, when I raced out onto the street, it was coming around the corner, to stop at a red set of lights. I dashed breathlessly across two lanes of traffic and banged on the door, and the HEARTLESS BASTARD bus driver ignored my desperately pleading expression, and just shook his head at me. Fortunately there was another bus a couple of hours later, and I still managed to get to the airport on time, though I cut it very fine!

- the Pacific Blue flight to Christchurch. I know these guys are a 'no frills' airline, but honestly, you couldn't get any more laid back than they were - it was like being on a school bus heading to camp. The head flight attendant told a joke while we were waiting for the final passenger to board, introduced the attendants as 'Candy, Mandy and Randy' and told us that while there were a few toilets on board the plane, if we were going to do 'a twosie', he'd prefer we used the toilet down the back. The flight was rounded off by a competition between the two sides of the plane, who had to pass a roll of toilet paper to the back of the plane without breaking it. I'm sure I wasn't the only one cringing.

- driving to Arthur's pass in the Southern Alps and passing a location from LOTR on the way (Castle Hill - I think it was at the end of the first movie - where there is a fight with the orcs among the rocks and Boromir dies).

- hiking up a volcanic hill that separates Lyttleton (Christchurch's port) from Christchurch. The Bridle Path was used many years ago by settlers to get in to Christchurch - they had to climb all the way up the hill with all their belongings on their back, probably with kids in tow. I don't know how they did it - I almost had a heart attack getting to the top - God, it was so steep, and I am so unfit! (My legs are still sore). We did get a spectacular 360 degree view of Christchurch, the coastline and Lyttleton at the top of the hill, at least.

- seeing Dido in concert - was good but not fantastic - I guess her style/songs are not really suited to a big concert. And she tried to 'dancify' some of them, including my favourite 'Take My Hand' - which was just wrong.

- jetboating and doing a horseback trek in Hanmer Springs - a cute alpine town about 1.5 hours north of Christchurch.

- finding a clothing label called 'Amie' in a NZ department store!! I couldn't resist buying a few t-shirts and a pair of jeans - to be worn on big nights out when I might forget my name ;)

Big thanks to Beth for being a great host and showing me all the wonderful sights, and driving me all around the country. From the little that I saw of NZ, it is spectacularly beautiful, with the mountains and the coast never more than an hour or two's drive away. And it's all so lush and green! Kiwis are very friendly types, too - you cannot go into a store without someone having a long chat to you. It's almost enough to outweigh the ridiculous kiwi accent ;)

Stay tooned for some pics!


Post a Comment

<< Home