Ok so I'm not doing so well on the regular front but I haven't really done too much to write down!
On Saturday it rained all day. No joke. No dry spell at all just constant rain. Went out anyway as not heavy rain. I went to the Arts Centre and wandered around the shops and galleries. I bought some fudge from the Fudge Kitchen there. It was delicious! I then visited the Christchurch Art Gallery which didn't take me long really to go round as I just tend to look while walking. I don't spend any time looking in detail at each picture. I also wandered a bit aimlessly around some of the shops. I ended up going back to the hostel and reading my book for ages. I then watched the last two thirds of Walk the Line that was on Sky Movies. Have nearly seen the whole film now! One day I'll watch it in one go.
On Sunday when I woke up it was sunny so I decided to head to the beach. When I got there it was quite windy but I walked down the pier (made from concrete only about 5 years ago!) and watched the surfers being pummelled by the waves. They were wearing wet suits so you can guess the temperature of the water! I laid on the sand and read my book for a while but I was slowly turning in to the Sand Man as the wind was blowing sand at me like a sand blaster and it was sticking to my sun cream! After a while I gave up and left the beach. I managed to remove the sand with my towel and then I went for a walk through the little town which was really quiet. Not a lot is open here on a Sunday. The sun soon went behind the clouds and it got really chilly and I was only wearing shorts and a vest top. I ended up getting the bus back in to the city and running back to the hostel in the rain! I spent the rest of the day either in my room or out sat on one of the comfy leather sofas reading. I'm reading The Constant Gardener by John Le Carre and it's quite hard work! I'm certainly broadening what I read by only being able to choose from books left by other travellers and its hard to find ones not in German or Japanese! Have so far found that I enjoy thrillers about the CIA and the Army and terrorists! Best in one book!
Monday I decided to get up earlier than midday and head on down to Akaroa which is the oldest township in New Zealand or the South Island or something and it was a French Colony. Most of the street names are French. I got a scenic shuttle there with commentary and photo stops. We drove past the Port Hills, which are more like mountains! In fact they're part of a dormant volcano! We then shot through the Canterbury Plains and up another volcano to view the bays which was awesome! It was a bit bloody cold though! I was wearing shorts but then a fleece and rain jacket! There was no sun and it was windy. When we arrived in the town I has a bit of a walk around before getting Fish and Chips for lunch and visiting the museum before getting the shuttle back to the city. All in all a good day, just a little chilly!
Today I went to the International Antarctic Centre by the airport. This is the visitor centre that's attached to the departure point for the NZ, US and Italian research teams to Antarctica. It was really interesting and great fun! I got a trip on a Hagglund which is a tracked vehicle that they have in Antarctica and we completed an all-terrain course in it to show how versatile it was! It was so cool. Going up and down bumps and across a big gap and finally through a pond when the water was nearly up to the window! The thing floats and the tracks work as paddles! I aslo experienced a storm with a wind chill of -18.7 degrees C! Bloody freezing I can tell you. The room temperature is -8 and they give you rubber overshoes to keep the real snow clean and they also give you a "warm" jacket but boy it was not warm enough. My legs were cold through my jeans and my nose felt like it might fall off! There was no falling snow just fans to produce the wind chill. I did get to go down an ice slide though! I also saw lots of cute little blue penguins. They are adorable. I even caught to guys about my age spend about 10 mins taking photos of them and saying how cute they were and calling them little cherubs! Now that's funny! They were cute though.
Later this afternoon I had to pack for my flight tomorrow morning. I've got a shuttle to the airport booked for 4am. Yes 4am. Will be having about 3 hours sleep again tonight! May even sleep in my clothes so I can just get up and go!