Well, it’s really day 2, but I’ve only been here one night so far. I’m in Oamaru. If you know how to pronounce that, tell me before I embarrass myself by saying the wrong thing and having the locals wet themselves in hysterics. Or something.
I left Townsville on Saturday, with strict instructions to a friend to visit and walk around the house every few days so the mice don’t think they can start squatting again. I also told her to take the car so that other folk don’t think I don’t want it anymore. Am I paranoid?
Brisbane was pretty crap. I was staying in a hostel in Fortitude Valley where beds cost $20 a night. So I got what I paid for. A lumpy bed in a dirty room with people partying all night (it was the valley). I caught the first train back to the airport on Sunday morning (though it was delayed about 15 minutes). The plane then followed suit and was delayed 1 1/2 hours. Once the flight actually took off, it was uneventful. I sat next to an elderly couple who were going to rent a car and drive around the south and north islands for two weeks. As we got off the plane I said that maybe we’d run into each other sometime. Then I said I hoped we didn’t…
I rented a car straight from the airport (a Daihatsu Sirion – a toy car) and immediately got lost. Stayed at a place just outside of Christchurch that seemed quite nice, although some kind of insect had a nibble of me to see what I tasted like. By the size and itchiness of the welts all over my body, I can only conclude that I tasted rather pleasing to said insect! Not impressed.
Nor am I impressed with the weather. It was lovely yesterday, when I arrived. Lovely enought to lull me into a false sense of security and today was a rude shock. Wind and rain and so freaking cold!!!! I’m glad that Kirsty pre-warned me and I packed thermals, a fleece, a coat, 2 scarves, hat and gloves. I’ve worn them all!!
I arrived here in the place I can’t pronounce this afternoon. I trekked over to see the yellow-eyed penguin – very rare (the penguins, not the trek) – I saw about 4. There may not be many of them, but they can sure stink up a place. I think I’m going to have to get my nose prepared for this, with all the penguins, albatross and seal crap I’ll be smelling in the next few days (at Otago Peninsula). The blue penguins (are they the same as fairy penguins?) also stink, and are all along the coastline by the town. I might go and see them later, but I’m not keen to pay $20 to the information centre for the privilege.
If there are any places that I have missed between Christchurch and here, tell me now. And if there are any places that I absolutely must see (mum, Michelle, Kirsty???), also tell me now. I’ve taken loads of pictures, but won’t upload them now as the computer and internet is free here (woohoo) and I don’t want to hold up other people from doing their stuff. And there is a sign above the monitor saying, “Computer is for email and browsing only. No downloads. Thankyou”. Or uploads, I assume.