The Last Leg

(March 5th 2007)

It’s a bit of a drive to Christchurch from Mt Cook but we had all day so we had a nice breakfast in the hotel and made a few stops along the way. First for a view across the amazing blue lake towards Mt Cook, and then in Lake Tekapo (pic above). We’d gotten a bit jaded about lakes and more lakes but yesterday and today changed our minds. The glaciers grind down minerals as they move and deposit them in the rivers which end up in the lakes turning them amazing colours which no photograph can do justice. After grabbing coffee (of course) and filling up with petrol for the last time, we headed towards Christchurch.

Getting to Christchurch wasn’t a problem, finding the hotel was another matter. There are one-way systems and lots of traffic, by New Zealand standards, but we got there in the end. Not a bad hotel and in a great location, but boy it’s hot today (30C), so we cranked up the air conditioning ready for when we came back and went out for a walk. Amanda cheered herself up (thinking about the long, long flight home) with some retail therapy by buying a new handbag, which put a smile on her face and we went and grabbed a couple of beers to cool me down.

We wanted to eat in the hotel restaurant as it meant that we didn’t have far to walk. However, when we turned up at 7pm we were told that no orders could be taken until 8pm as they just had 50 people booked in from a coach party which brings up another bug bear of ours. COACH PARTIES! We both think it’s great that older people travel the world these days, much more than used to happen, however we pay to stay in hotels (and probably pay more than those on package deals) and always seem to come second to the coach parties. If a large party is booked then stuff everyone else as the kitchen is too busy with that big order to deal with anyone else. I don’t think anything can be done about it but it still stinks. Everytime we stopped at a particular place on the ‘tourist route’ we’d be fighting with the ‘tick boxers’ to see whatever was there to see. OK rant over.

Tomorrow we hand back our lovely car. We’re both going to miss it, especially me and I’m going to find it hard to go back to a manual gearbox. Oh well, if anyone is thinking of buying one, I can highly recommend the Mitsubishi Overlander.

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