Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Beauty of the TransAlpine Train…and stuck in rainy Greymouth

An Afternoon in Christchurch (and probably all that’s needed)

After our library internet adventures it seemed time to actually explore this little town they call Christchurch…and how British it is!! We decided to start out with a trek to the Botanic gardens just west of city centre ***swiss here – that’s Jason’s Britainization of perfectly good American English, not mine***, but found ourselves smack in the courtyard of a high school instead. I had to drag Swiss out of there and found the botanic gardens just around the corner.

More Flowers at the Botanic Garden

Paddling down the Avon River

After a stroll through there we hopped on the 28 bus out towards Lyttleton and the Christchurch gondola we went up in the gondola (it was so romantic, haha) ***it was not*** and spent some time strolling around. We went up a little later in the afternoon in hopes of catching the sunset, but the humid air created a haze that didn’t make that possible.

The view down

Swiss with a gorgeous view behind him...

Yes, I went all the way to the top...

It was a little hazy from up there, very humid down here this time of year...

Back into town (on the same bus ticket no less, learning again from Swiss, haha) and to the grocery store to cook a little dinner. It was time for a few rounds of our new favorite card game (thanks ladies of The Last Resort!!) which isn’t so bad with just two people and adds another option to our repertoire besides playing WAR (not that there’s anything wrong with everyone’s favorite card game of war!) ***for the record, and as a proud Michigander, I do play Euchre as well***

Off to Greymouth

We had to be up early to catch a shuttle at 7am (yes, that’s early now that I’m temporarily unemployed, sorry everyone!) ***no comment*** To take the TranzAlpine Train from Christchurch to Greymouth, from the east coast across to the west coast of the south island. It really is a beautiful ride and highly recommended. We even scored a nice seat with a table (OK, time for commentary…across our table was a young couple with the angriest looking girlfriend/wife I’ve ever seen and a man with the largest chin beard ***aka goatie*** I’ve ever seen! I mean, just massive!) The first two and a half hours were just gorgeous and sunny…

The start of our TransAlpine adventure...

A view from our trusty stead

TransAlpine Scenery

TransAlpine Scenery

but with about an hour and a half left (after crossing through some mountain, don’t ask which) the weather turned rainy/cool/cloudy instantly. After a very wet walk to our new place in Greymouth, it was time for a warm shower and a lazy afternoon of getting caught up online and reading that new book I just picked up. The rain is scheduled to continue tomorrow, so we’ll likely head to the brewery tour tomorrow and get some laundry done and head out for Nelson on Wednesday.

But then things got nasty for the last hour and a half of the ride

Also, where did the word trundler come from?!?! I’d be curious to hear the origins of this…

And here we are at the grocery store...

If anyone has tips on getting from Greymouth to Wellington in a day, without flying, we’d love the advice (no offense to Nelson, but we’d rather make it up to North Island on Wednesday if possible!)


Chris said...

We drove from Christchurch to the west coast and it was awesome, as well as hiking along the way. I remember seeing train tracks, glad it was nice.

I don't know if you can rent a car to get up there, or find a bus (I remember bus services around different cities), but you are correct. Nelson is nothing. Will you make it to Pancake Rock (Paparoa) Park? It is cool and doesn't take long. I briefly mention some stuff here. http://phillipsrhit.blogspot.com/2008/04/south-island-new-zealand.html

There is good wine, olive oil, and chocolate near Picton.

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