Sunday, April 26, 2015

Christchurch to Lake Tekapo, almost Mt Cook and Queenstown

Today I went for a road trip with Shelly a flight attendant I met on my bike ride and three of her friends. We did not get the best weather with lots of rain but the rain caused lots of beautiful rainbows all day long and did not spoil our fun. The mountains were kind of obscured by the clouds so Lake Tekapo was not as brilliant as it can be on a fine day with its turquoise water surrounded by mountains but such is life and we turned up the road to Mt Cook but almost immediately did a U-turn and skipped it because visibility was so low. We stopped often for pics of fall colors and things so we had a good day. We left at 8am and had a slightly hard time getting out of Christchurch with the poor signage they have on the roads. With a bit of help from a hotel clerk we found our way. We had lunch in Omarama where I spent a night on my A2O ride a week ago.

Once in Queenstown the girls checked into their lake view hotel very happy with it and I went into town and checked into a packpacker hostel. The town is packed with kids this holiday weekend. It is ANZAC holiday which memorializes the invasion that Churchill made against well defended Turkish forces defending their homeland at Gallipoli beaches. The English got their asses handed to them and NZ and Australia both lost a lot of good men on a pointless suicide mission as many people called it.

I am here in the area for three days so I will relax and wait out this rain in the hopes that in May I will be able to ride back up to Auckland to catch my flight over to Australia in mid May. If the rain persists I will bus up there. No more riding in rain for me for a while if I can help it. Good time to read a bunch of novels for a few days me thinks...

a few pics

Trans-Alpine Scenic Train NZ

I splurged on a scenic Transalpine train ride today and I did enjoy it. The mountains valleys and gorges were all beautiful. The snow that fell last week is almost all gone already but the peaks still held a bit of snow. The gorges with the turquoise colored water rushing downhill were scenic. It was very difficult to take pics of the scenery from the moving train but I took some anyway, They are not real sharp focus but they will give you an idea of what the ride was like. The fog rolled in for the last part of the ride but by then we were in flat rural valley farmland.

There was a 6.2 earthquake in New Zealand while we were in the 6 mile long tunnel. I am glad it was not closer while we were underground. I do not know yet if there was any damage but our train was held up for over half an hour while they checked the tracks for damage. We got to Christchurch late due to that delay. I am curious about the quake which was just a bit north of Christchurch. Tomorrow or later tonight I will hear about it.

here are the inferior quality pics :