A Travellerspoint blog

Too much FRENCH!

Akaroa, South Island, New Zealand

sunny 20 °C

IMG_2655.jpg

Back to Christchurch and it was a particularly sad goodbye to Suze who was getting straight on a plane. We got it over quickly, the goodbye that is, neither of us like goodbyes. We will meet again back in UK for sure.. We had been travelling together less than a week but what an inspiring and fun lady.... I had loosely arranged to meet up with Maxx again in Christchurch though. He had already messaged me to let me know the hostel he was staying in so I stayed there too, but we bumped into each other randomly in the street anyhow! He was on his way to organise a car hire and asked me if i wanted to join him for Hanmer springs or Akaroa. I quite fancied Akaroa, another recommendation from Ivan the travel guru, and seeing as I already had visited Hanmer during my previous stay in Christchurch was thrilled when Maxx kindly offered. One last visit to Christchurch botanical gardens, my favourite spot in the city. The earthquakes seemed to have died down since my last visit, no sign of them this time. Turns out not only had i booked into the same hostel as Maxx but into the room next door to him! Poor guy probably thought i was stalking him! Anyway, great neighbour for sharing his wine with me 
My favorite place in Christchurch, the botanical gardens

My favorite place in Christchurch, the botanical gardens

IMG_2600.jpg
Even greater guy for taking me for the day out to Akaroa. To use cheesy American slang ‘we had a blast, awesome....’ Maxx was not used to driving on the left hand side of the road but was soon pretty confident, driving with no hands while eating crisps!! A couple of hours drive from Christchurch through some stunning scenery. We stopped a couple of times on the way to enjoy some fantastic views of the harbour town of Akaroa, set beautifully in the heart of an extinct volcano. So after spending an enjoyable few hours walking around the harbour, the cute little lighthouse, the pier, and relaxing outside the coffee shops what word would we use to sum up Akaroa? Well it was just very very errrrrm FRENCH!!! Enough said. Maxx made me order our croque monsieurs and ‘french coffee’ in French then we sat on French chairs and watched French boats come into the French harbour. A lovely end to my time in the South Island with fun company.
We are not in India no? French cows

We are not in India no? French cows

Fremch crab

Fremch crab

Akaroa

Akaroa

large_IMG_2619.jpgThe lighthouse was locked, Maxx reckoned his room key was special and could unlock all doors!

The lighthouse was locked, Maxx reckoned his room key was special and could unlock all doors!

Very French flower

Very French flower

Look no hands!

Look no hands!

large_IMG_2632.jpg
Next morning I left Christchurch at dark o’clock to catch the Tranzcoastal train to Picton for catching the ferry to the North Island. To use a cliché, this was so much more than just a train journey. For much of the ride, the line runs right along the coast and you can watch all of this from an open air viewing carriage. We even saw dolphins jumping out of the sea from the train!! The journey was a little delayed by a section of the track just outside of Christchurch that had been recently refilled after sinking during the big earthquake. We could also see some areas of liquefaction in some of the fields around Christchurch, where mud had boiled up from below the surface during the seismic activity Yikes!!
Closer towards Picton the scenery got even more intense. We followed beautiful vineyards on one side of the train in front of mountains and the Pacific ocean on the other side. I got talking to an inspiring gentleman in the viewing carriage, a self-labelled ‘geriatric backpacker’. A guy in his 60’s, his wife and mother had passed away the year earlier so he sold up and is 6 months into a ‘wander’, around the world, staying mostly in backpacker hostels. I told him what an inspiration he was, a real passionate go-getter making the most of life. Good for him..
Tranzcoastal train to Picton

Tranzcoastal train to Picton

Views from the train!

Views from the train!

IMG_2667.jpgIMG_2668.jpgViews from the train!

Views from the train!

On the drive to Akaroa

On the drive to Akaroa

We are not in India no? French cows

We are not in India no? French cows

Akaroa

Akaroa

French pier

French pier

Croque monsieur and french coffee

Croque monsieur and french coffee

French street

French street

French

French

French lighthouse

French lighthouse

On the way back to Christchurch

On the way back to Christchurch

Posted by Spinky 15:54 Archived in New Zealand

Email this entryFacebookStumbleUpon

Table of contents

Comments

Much more French there and it would be like SBE, heaven forbid.
Great pics and looks alovely place
Take care, go safe, enjoy - love as always, Dad XXXXXXXX

by Roy Spink

Comments on this blog entry are now closed to non-Travellerspoint members. You can still leave a comment if you are a member of Travellerspoint.

Enter your Travellerspoint login details below

( What's this? )

If you aren't a member of Travellerspoint yet, you can join for free.

Join Travellerspoint