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Friday 13 Nov 2009
Nelson, New Zealand

Christchurch to Nelson

Most everything was closed today for Cup Day (horse racing is BIG here on the south island !)...  not just Christchurch but the entire south island !

Checked out of the Hotel So... and learned a very important lesson....   ALWAYS be sure to read the small print ......  Upon our check in we both chuckled over the door hang... In BOLD one side said  "SO Sleepy"... get it... play on the hotel name... Hotel So....  The other side said "SO Untidy".  We used the cute little door hang  "SO Untidy" to get fresh towels each day.   But we should have read the small print... (honestly I didn't think there was enough room on the door hand to accommodate small print because the "SO Untidy" was so big but apparently there was just enough room !)  Upon check-out we discovered our ‘untidiness' cost us $15 a day !.... I've and learn.... 

We trekked a few blocks to a restaurant we'd spotted last night and had a GREAT breakfast.  The restaurant (The Drexel) appeared to be run by and staffed by women only (1 token male doing the dishes...).  We sat at the counter because they were so busy and enjoyed watching the 2 chef's in the kitchen working in tandem to crank out the breakfasts.  Tony had pancakes and I dared the Huevos Rancheros.  While the Huevos were not what I am used to, they were pretty darned good... I was a happy camper !

We then picked up our rental car and did one last Tourist Attraction before leaving Christchurch - The Antarctic Experience.  We experienced a storm as those that are stationed at the Antarctic with temperatures going as low as -5 degrees Fahrenheit  and winds up to 25mph..... BURRRRRRRRRR !  We also bought a back stage pass to the penguin enclosure so got up close and personal with the penguins housed there.  They are all there because they've been injured in some way and have been nursed back to health but will never be well enough to go back out into the wild.  We observed the feeding and how they monitor how much each one is eating. One, named "Roxie" was the 1st in line and appeared to be fed the most (reminded me of another Roxie I know !).  We also got to spend some intimate time with one particular penguin, Austin, who had recovered from a broken back.  At one time he couldn't stand up so the keepers would put him in a bucket and put towels around him to prop him up until he healed.... He was quite the crowd pleaser.... Tootling around the room greeting all of us and even letting us take a picture with him (we couldn't actually touch him but held him in a towel for photos).  We ended our time at the Experience with a ride in a Hagglund just like the ones used to trek the Antarctic.  All in all... a very fun time !

We hit the road for our 6 hour drive to Nelson.  It was raining and winds were gusting most of the way but very few cars on the road.  We even tripped upon a waterfall and stopped to take photos.  We arrived in Nelson @ 9pm, checked into the hotel and finished the day with a wonderful Japanese )dinner.....Totemo Ueshii  (very delicious!)

Tomorrow (11/14) will be early to rise - hit the gym (we haven't done that since we left Auckland), check out of the hotel and try to get reservations for the Skywire.  This is the World's longest flying fox adventure.  Set high in the forested hills that overlooks the sea and river valleys - the ride is 3.2 kilometers long, making it an eco experience with one heck of a rush !  Fastened into an absolutely safe 4-sest carriage, you fly forwards then backwards for a 10 minute adventure thrill.  The 1st 800 meter freefall can reach 100 kph but many say the backwards return ride is the most unforgettable part !

From there we head to Picton to turn in the rental car and catch the Interisland Ferry to Wellington (ferry rides always bring back fond memories... right BC & P ?).  Wellington was sold out (I mean SOLD OUT) so we have  a room confirmed for Saturday night outside of Wellington about 45 minutes.  Sunday we head to Waitomo Valley.

Internet prices are outrageous here ($10 for 2hrs or $33 for 24hrs) so will only post text today.  Hope to find less expensive internet down the road.

2 Comments for this Travel blog entry

lola Says:

13 November 2009

Graham emailed today - checking in with you. Maybe he has good internet ideas - check with him.
Hi Everybody, anything I can help with?
Let me know if I can help with anything…I’m out of town but only an email away.
Regards [email protected]

lola Says:

13 November 2009

Graham's # is 1-866-829-8374

Tony and Ellie's Adventure

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Photo Album

  • Raukawa Falls

    Nelson

    New Zealand

    Raukawa Falls
  • Thumbs Up !

    Nelson

    New Zealand

    Thumbs Up !
  • Skywire 4...

    Nelson

    New Zealand

    Skywire 4 seater swing
  • All bundled...

    Nelson

    New Zealand

    All bundled up for the ride