Wednesday, January 18, 2006

I haven’t had a chance to update for a couple of days, so I’ve separated the sections:
Monday 16th Jan
Our first stop today was Baldwin Street, the steepest street in the world. When the bus stopped and I looked up the hill, I though…oh my god, but we just had to walk up it, and boy was it hard work, Mum and I were out of breath within minutes and our hearts were in our throats, I thought I was going to be sick!! Anyway, we made it in the end….I feel sorry for the people that live on the road…imagine popping to the shops for a paper, not easy work to get back home! I’m relieved to say, walking down was a lot easier, I felt really good for doing it (at 8.30 in the morning!) but Mum and I did have a bad cough whenever we breathed in for the next half hour!!Fact time….the street has a gradient of 1 in 1.266.
So after that we stopped for a coffee at Moeraki, there are boulders on the beach there which are a bit of a tourist attraction ‘the Moeraki Boulders’. There are lots of them and they are all very round, noone is quite sure how they got there. We also stopped off at Lake Pukaki, and I have to say, it’s the most amazing lake I’ve ever seen (and I’ve seen a few!) The colour of it looked just like a swimming pool, a real turquoisey blue, it really was amazing, we also had views of Mount Cook, Mount Tasman and Mount Stirling from across the lake. Mount Cook is the tallest mountain in New Zealand, 230 people have died attempting to climb it, it’s supposed to be more dangerous than climbing Mount Everest because of the unpredictable weather. Anyway, back to the water, the turquoise blue of the lake is created by rock flour. The glaciers grind rock into fine dust on their journey down towards the lake, this is then suspended in the water and when combined with sunlight creates this colour water. After we’d taken lots of pics, we set off for Lake Tekapo, we finally arrived at 3pm. The lake, again was stunning, not quite the same colour as Lake Pukaki, but still a great sight. We got off the bus and took some pictures of the little church and the statue of the collie dog (it’s to do with the towns history, but I won’t bore you). The town is very small, the population is only 340 people…tiny!. At least it gave us a bit of time to relax before heading back to Christchurch, although I guarantee we’ll be doing lots of walking tomorrow….no rest for the wicked!!
And on another note, it’s a year today that I left Munich, where has the time gone?! I’m a little sad and nostalgic too, I especially miss being close to my brother. It was such an amazing time in my life, but I’m sure there are a lot more good times to come ;o)
Tuesday 17th January
As predicted, we did a lot of walking today. We headed off from the hostel at 10am to walk up to Mount John’s summit. At first we were not sure we were going the right way as the path wasn’t heading upwards, but rather around the mountain, but we asked a guy on a horse and he said to continue on the path. It took us about 3 hours to get to the top, and we walked around the summit 1.5 times (don’t ask!) then headed back down the opposite side to which we’d gone up. We eventually got back to the hostel, shattered and achey 4 hours later …it was a long way up (and down). We didn’t do much in the afternoon, just sat around reading and had fish and chips for dinner. I was hoping I’d get a better nights sleep tonight, the previous night one of the girls in the room was snoring like a trooper….which again reminds me to never stay in a hostel dorm again (how many times I said that before!!)
Wednesday 18th January
I did get an ok sleep last night, apart from getting woken up at 4am because of the howling wind. Anyway, we arrived in Christchurch a few hours ago, it was a pretty uneventful journey It’s freezing here, well it’s 13 degrees….where is the summer??!! Aunty Betty and Uncle Derek picked us up, and we’ve just been washing and going to the shops to buy dinner….the whole family are coming over tonight…it sounds like it’s going to be a houseful…and I’ve only met a couple of them before.
We’ve only got tomorrow left here, then it’s back home for Mum, and back to Australia for me. I’m really going to miss Mum, it’ll be weird not having her here :-(

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