So the Kiwi adventure finishes, and what a bang to go out with!
Travelling around the south island gave us chance to speak to the locals, and what a friendly bunch they are. From a 70 something jewellery maker, the brewery barman, the numerous i-site ladies, the fat fella in the office and not to forget the New World supermarket check out people, we always walked away saying 'they were nice weren't they!'... One common conservation was of the earth quake disaster in 2011. Some people spoke about it as a fact, describing it with detachment and others had a more personal involvement, recounting with drama. The fat man in the office described being thrown to the floor, lamp posts falling around him, building facades crumbling to the ground metres away. The detail wasn't just in the stories. Arriving in Christchurch we were faced with immediate evidence, even 3 years later. Scaffolding sits beside most buildings, open spaces are fenced off in the centre of the city where a building once stood and shipping containers are still used as shops. A walk around the city shows more intimate scars, the cathedral, a beautiful 19th century Gothic building sits crumbling at one end. The building is beyond repair and will be torn down soon enough. Yet the people are optimistic and have adopted the tag line 'the futures bright', a slogan which pops up all over the city.
A self guided 3 hour walk was sufficient for this city before dropping off the camper and heading to the airport.
Beanbagged up at the airport night lounge we settled in for the night and managed a few hours kip before the morning flight. Up and ready at 5am the speaker blared 'customers travelling on flight jq180 we regret to inform you that this flight has been cancelled'. 3 hours of panic ensued as we weighed up the cost of missing connecting flights...
$1000 poorer and another 12 hours to kill at the airport we had a great time spending jetstars $90 apology spends, used the bookshop as a library, had 2 showers and chatted with a Brazilian about south american culture for hours. Our plane arrived (thank god!) And we waved goodbye to NZ.
Favourite camp meal... JOJO - It's gotta be bangers and smash actually Fush and Chups were pretty banging! BRYN - chicken satay
Top 3 recommendations for travellers to the south island...JOJO - kayak Abel Tasman, visit the penguin colonies and absorb the peace in Doubtful Sound BRYN - driftwood fire whilst freedom camping , watch sunset over Mount Cook range from Mount John, visit Scotts brewery omaru
Next times must do... JOJO - North island BRYN - white water rafting
Free camp/paid camp tally... 12/6
Best beer...BRYN - Stokes IPA, JOJO - grizzely ginger bear
Majority of wild wees or toilet wees? Wild wees
Most said sentence..."wow look at that view", "wasn't he/she friendly" (said about a kiwi person), "that's bloody expensive"
Coolest animal...JOJO - sperm whale BRYN - dolphins
Best camping spot...BRYN - lake Wanaka, JOJO - cloudy bay
Backgammon challenge... B2 v J2
Blackjack challenge... B2 v J3
Knockout whist challenge B0 v J1 (Bryn's first ever game)
Total number of kilometres travelled in the camper... 3167. Feeling guilty about this?... Yes, but i'd recommended it to anyone!
Wildlife list for south New Zealand...
NZ fur seals and their pups
White faced heron
Fjordland crested penguin
Yellow eyed penguins
Next stop, back to Malaysia to sort out Indian visas and catch some sun on the Perhentians.
Love Jo and Bryn x