NZ#4 - The East Coast

The name of the back-packers accommodation in Dunedin comes from the name of the lovely young couple owning the house, Dion and Amanda Hyde. They have three accommodations for rent. Ours was a bedroom and included the use of the house. There was a living room, kitchen with all appliances and dishes and bath. We were even invited to use their computer for e mail. We enjoyed this type of accommodation best of all, because it was cozy and so friendly.

AND we did not have to go outside to use the john at night! When you make your own trip to South Island, please let us know and we will send you the info for the Hyde-Away house.

Dunedin is a lovely port city with a great harbor protected by the very long Otago Peninsula. Although we had overcast days again in Dunedin the drive out the peninsula paid off with lovely views back towards Dunedin and out to sea. Photo #1 From the East Coast we crossed diagonally to see Mt. Cook but had very overcast and rainy days so gave up that plan and proceeded to Christchurch and the invitation to stay with Liz and Nigel Starkie. Was Liz upset that her dad had issued an invitation to stay with them? As she explained it, this is the way of life in New Zealand. Her friends stay with her parents in Wellington and their friends with her. It is their pleasure to get to know the many people that pass through their home and their lives. Delightful!

We waited out the passage of another front with cold rainy weather there in Christchurch. The plan was to cross SI through Arthur’s Pass and then to cross back through the center to our final destination, Kaikoura. The day for the trip through Arthur’s Pass brought beautiful weather. Photo #2 was taken quite early in the day before all the clouds had lifted. Photo #3 shows a very expensive but necessary improvement to the road coming down the west side of the pass. The old road was continually being closed due to the falling scree from above. Just past this overpass, we came to a concrete roofed shelter over the road that also deflected the screefall from the mountain. For several kilometers the road falls at a 16% grade – and STILL there were bikers making that trip UP the mountain. We were constantly amazed at the tenacity (and the lack of sanity?) of the cyclists traveling around SI through the rain, the cold and the steep roads.

Since this message is a little short we will offer a little cultural lesson for the remainder. We have learned several interesting new terms during our travels. Can you guess the meaning of some of them?

Dag Picker – You should remember this one! Trig Post Painter Abseiling Long Drop Cabbage Tree Toi Toi Shelter Belt Bach (No! this is not the famous composer.) Fly Over

The explanations will be in the last message coming soon.

Cheers, Jane and Sander