Well the train from Greymouth was good, don't know if I would call it the "Most Spectacular Train ride in the world", but it was nice. I got some photos of the country side, but the drive up from Queenstown was much better.
We made our way in to Christchurch, we found our hostel and got settled then walked around the city center looking for dinner. As we walked around we saw many old buildings, churches and of course a Starbucks right smack in the middle of the town square. So charming... oh well.
So far the shopping has been very disappointing, everything is very expensive. We thought we would be able to find some nice wool products on the cheap since they make it locally and all but we haven't been able to find anything yet.
We ended up finding a Mexican restaurant in town. We had a 3/4 of a shot of Herradurra Tequila for $15NZD and a each had a couple of beers and burritos. The dessert was a solid chocolate cake with ice cream on the side. Over all the dinner was quite good and despite the over priced tequila ended up being reasonably priced.
We made our way back through the city to our hostel where we watched a movie in the common lounge with another couple, I think it was Panic Room with Jodie Foster.
Today we drove from Christchurch to Picton. We stopped in Kaikora about half way and had our first wine tour and tasting. ( http://www.kaikourawinery.co.nz ) We got a nice meat and cheese platter and tried all 6 or 7 types of the Kaikura Vineyards wines. Then we toured the facilities and they taught us about the wine making process they use to make the wine. The vineyard is on a cliff overlooking the south bay of Kaikura, this is a place where dolphins and whales come to hang out in NZ. They have "swim with the dolphins" tour but we didn't have the time in our schedule to do it. Oh well, next time.
We have reservations on the Inter-island Ferry at 1:15PM tomorrow so we thought we'd squeeze in a couple of hours of kayaking in the Marlborough Sound in the morning. So for $70 we rented a tandem kayak for half a day and will spend the morning doing that.
( http://www.marlboroughsounds.co.nz/Default.asp?page=18 )
The ferry is a 3 hour cruise... I know. I won't worry until I meet a movie star, a professor, a millionaire and his wife. After that we'll spend the rest of tomorrow and the next day in Wellington. We have plans on visiting the museum of New Zealand. (http://www.tepapa.govt.nz) We've heard this takes a full day and should be interesting.
Unfortunately I can't upload any photos from this PC, the hostel has it locked down pretty tightly, they've even replaced the Window's Start button, sheesh! I'll try to find an Internet cafe in Wellington and make up for it on the next entry.
Jen would like to add something so I'll step aside.
Talk to you all soon,
'Ello! It's Jen! Since Mike always rolls his eyes at me when I tell him to put in something about Kota, I figured I would just do it myself...
Amy - Thanks for all the updates! It really helps knowing that he is not being too much of a pain! It sounds like we owe you some new towels. If that is the only thing we end up owing you, we'll be happy! Give him a big ole kiss for me! I know he's in good hands, but I still worry!
So the weather has been "ok". It's a good thing we didn't expect to spend everyday at the beach getting a tan! Hopefully, we get some clear nights in Australia. Mike and I would like to try to see the Southern Cross constellation. Today in Picton the clouds started to clear. We are hoping they stay away for the night so kayaking tomorrow is nice.
OK, I think that is all for me! Mike pretty much summed up the rest of the day's activities. I did want to add that he had been doing a brilliant job driving. For how much crap I give him, for how often I grab my door handle and bang my foot down on my imaginary pedals, he is doing a great job! He has only had to be reminded a handful of times that he was on the wrong side of the road - and just gentle reminders at that! ...Ok I'm done!
I hope all is well with everyone back home! Thanks for the comments - they put a huge smile on our faces! I'm now stealing my husband away from the computer and forcing him to play soccer with me...