Friday, May 14, 2010

Tasman Sea to Pacific Ocean

I left Hokitika just after eight and soon said goodbye to the Tasman Sea. It was angry today, with waves throwing spray out any which way. I’m so glad I was also on the West Coast when it was in a good mood.

The left turn to the trans-island highway through Arthur's Pass meant steep gradients, more hairpins and very soon a different landscape. Death’s corner is now a scenic lookout point and has been replaced by a viaduct. Presumably it was once appropriately named for the toll it took on


I remember going over Arthur’s Pass with my Mum and Dad but not that we eve reached Christchurch which is rather strange. Bev and I always called it Urthur’s Pass, but why we did is something else I can’t remember! I do recall we used to sing I love to go a wandering across a mountain track and when I go, I love to sing … etc etc. on those long trips to remote places. Those were the days before car radios or music systems –we had quite a repertoire of car songs …

Through the pass, a stop for coffee by a log fire in Arthur’s Pass Lodge and I’d reached the Canterbury Plains. Once again I made  several photo stops; at one chatting with some people travelling from Christchurch to the glaciers who wanted to know what I thought of the Dave and Nick show back home –as they put it. They knew more than me so clearly I’ve some catching up with the news to do at some point.




This is alpine country, with ski slopes and sheep farming as the plains stretch to the east. The vegetation changes –bare outcrops of rock and tussock grass as far as I could see in some places.

I was in Christchurch much sooner than I expected so I called in at the airport hoping to speak to a BA agent … no such luck so I drove south east to the port of Lyttleton and found an ocean viewpoint to eat a late lunch.

P1020379Further on are the hills of the Banks Peninsula formed by 2 volcanic eruptions …. then driver-fatigue set in so I turned back towards the city. The GPS I hired now had its use guiding me to Bealey Street and the last B&B. I’m now here for 4 nights so I was given an upgrade –this is a lovely room and the bathroom has a roll top bath but internet access is pricey. Swings and roundabouts …

Ann pointed me in the direction of an Italian restaurant tonight –I had the fish of the day -local sole. baked whole and absolutely delicious. Keeping to my routine of drinking as local as possible I had a glass of Christchurch Pinot Gris  -and needed the walk back from the city centre to help my digestion. I return the car tomorrow, it will be good to be doing more walking again. It was great having the independence it gave me but the last few days have been a little sedentary.

I know now that my onward journey is unaffected by the BA strike –that means both ends of my 9 week trip will have been linked to the same industrial action. I have until Monday to decide whether to go to Bangkok and hope the political situation there will be outside of the tourist areas  or travel straight home from Sydney on Tuesday. Watch this space …     

No comments:

Post a Comment