Tuesday, January 8, 2013

a day in transit

Up early and out the door so we have time for mike to lead us on a walk before going to the airport-  today we transit to the south island

the TB synopsis:
12/10: Bkfst @ Rydges Hotel; crispy bacon wasn’t. Short hike through the Redwoods in Whakare Warewa Forest (++). Fly ROT – CHC – ZQN. New group bus with driver Darryl (++). Dinner @ New Orleans Hotel in Arrowtown. RON Distinction Nugget Point Hotel in Queenstown.
well - one small correction we didn't actually get Darryl until we were leaving Queenstown - we had a series of one day - task specific drivers while we were in Qtown- but hey- since Darryl spent much more time with us we won't quibble with letting him enter the story here. 

so first the forest primeval--- 



as you can see the fern trees were magnificent! I half expected to see elves giggling behind them but then I figured I had suffered too much middle earth hype and was going native! LOL aaaaccckkkk!

from the forest it was a quick trip to the airport- where we said goodbye to Logan (boo-hoo) and checked in on machines (no people- LOL) and went to the gate- LOL... seriously - no huge hassle of security screening- and no taking out computers or off shoes or throwing away your bottle of water--- amazing!  we waited at a little diner near the gate and ate meat pies and TB had another giant "bowl o coffee"- they called the flight we all walked on to the tarmac and walked up the stairs--- incredible how stress free flying can actually be if TSA isn't involved (are you listening George??? LOL- TB's long-time buddy is now a TSA exec- and he actually admits to it) 

so we have to get off the plane in Christchurch- not brilliant- even though we get right back on the very same plane into the very same seats- 

but then we are quickly off to Q-town... where we are staying at a different hotel than originally in the itinerary but with the best deal around... since the place we were supposed to stay was overbooked and since they had a shuttle into town - they are covering the cost of cabs for us from the substitute hotel! So we get a really nice hotel and free cabs!

just to give you an idea of the NZ prices here is the card from breakfast at our hotel-
of course everything is relative and this will look amazingly reasonable once we get to Sydney at the end of our trip- but that is another story! 

we get ready for dinner in nearby Arrowtown - a cute little town near the original hotel- we are eating at the New Orleans Hotel bar- but go early so we can walk around a bit.   We first stop at the Chinese settlement from the days when Arrowtown was a mining town.  Then we walk around the cute little town.  The meal at the hotel is quite good and we enjoy the evening.

in town:


a cool Mickey to Maori warrior transition print hanging over the fireplace at the hotel-

we didn't yet know how special the real fruit ice cream would be - but we certainly had it every time we saw it once we had tasted just how good it was!!!!!

we are off to our own hotel and to bed early so we can get up at dawn to join Mike and our driver of the day on a long trip to Milford Sound- it will be roughly twelve hours out by the time we return to Q-town tomorrow so Mike warns us to bring reading materials for the long trek back...

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