Blog 2018

End of the Journey

10 September 2017

This is the final part of my musings of the road trip #2.

Two weeks in the South Island , on my own, in a rental car. I got some great shots, so I am happy. But there was one camera I took along and it recorded nothing significant so I should be really grateful to be alive….

I recently bought a dash cam and I decided to bring it along and mount it in my rental car. The news is awash with reports of bad drivers on the road and frequently on the wrong side of the road so I thought I should record that event before my demise.

Maybe I was lucky but I didn’t have the chance to yell out an expletives even once!

One thing I did notice though is that when you give way to drivers on a one way bridge it is customary for the on coming driver to wave at you in acknowlegement of your courtesy.  This didn’t happen much- unless the driver was local.  How did i know he or she was local?  Well  not many tourists drives Utes with a dog(s) in the back!

I was probably the slowest driver on the road bumbling along at 90 km /hour.  Even the camper vans of which there were as many as sand flies caught up with me. However I was one of those considerate drivers who went to the left or even stopped to let people pass. I wasn’t intersted in speeding (not that the Nissan Tiida could ) but scouting the scenery for a good shot. it really is a holiday when you don’t have to rush anywhere.

Along the way to Haast I had to stop at a bridge for 20 minutes as it was under repair. So I had a nap and was awoken by passing cars. I looked behind me expecting to see a queue of backlog traffic. There was about 6 cars behind me in over a 20 minutes wait. Thats what I like about driving in the South island-empty roads.

Here are some of my observations  of the South Island trip:

1.  I met and talked to more foreigners than travelling overseas.

2.  Every one I met had a positive experience of the journey and go home happy.

3. Queenstown is like another planet compared to other towns in the rural south.

4. Good coffee is everywhere. Even in the remote places there is a caravan with an expresso machine.

5. Good food with healthy choices are rare-mostly pub grub, meat plus fries 

6. Craft beer is rare. 

7. Westcoast white bait is the best. A lot fatter than what I’m use to get in Blenheim (east coast white bait). So big it can be filleted…..only joking. Lastlight Cafe at Tuatapere had the best white bait fritters on my journey.

8. Why does every eating place wrap the cuttery in a serviette . It s tighter than a Singaporean air hostess uniform-yes that tight.  I end up ripping it off just to get at the cuttery and I destroyed the serviette at the same time!

9. Very few Japanese tourist nowadays. Mostly, Chinese, Dutch and Germans.

10. Steam punk has changed the face of Oamaru

11. No meals are served after 9pm. The problem was the Sun set at 8pm.

12. At the Haast Pass Hotel I got the second mornings breakfast at no charge , because NO one stays more than on night at Haast! That is a great shame as there is lots to see around the area, Jacksons Bay for example.

13. Magaret Mahey Playground is worth a visit when in Christchurch. Infact I will be returning with my adult children after Christmas.

14. The South Island is still a very special place which wants to make me return again and again. its great to be a living in NZ !

1.  24 March 2017     Surat Bay     Nikon D800     iso 200     165mm     f5.6     1/640sec     70-200mmf4

2.     25 March 2017     Slope Point     Nikon D750     iso200     300mm     f8.0     1/250sec     Nikon 300mmPF f4

3.     25 March 2017      Mc Clean Falls     Nikon D800     iso200     14mm     f3.5     1/40sec     Nikon 14-24mm f2.8

4.     26 March 2017     Cannibal Bay     Nikon D750     iso 200     24mm     f4.0     1.0sec     Nikon 24-70mmf2.8

5.     26 March 2017     Jacks Bay     Nikon D750     iso 200     24mm     f8.0     1/4  sec      Nikon 24-70mm f2.8

6.     26 March 2017     Jacks Bay     Nikon D750     iso 200     24mm     f4.0     1.0 sec     Nikon 24-70mm f2.8

Duncraigen area south of Manapouri
Windswept trees Waihoaka
Florence Hill Lookout?
Surat Bay
Surat Bay
Surat Bay
Surat Bay
Surat Bay
McLean falls
MacLean Falls

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