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Many Adventures of a Nomadic Poet A young poet with Asperger's makes travel his passion, and away he goes...

Crossing the Cook Strait

NEW ZEALAND | Monday, 16 January 2006 | Views [728]

            My tenth day in New Zealand was another exciting one. So, I’ll tell you my day. Today was the beginning of the trip though the South Island, which is Maui’s canoe. I woke up at 7 AM and went downstairs for breakfast. I had cereal again. We had to catch the ferry at 8 AM sharp, so we had to hurry! I finished packing my stuff and we loaded everything into the coach. We were going to use a different coach when we got to Picton. We drove to the ferry port and the ship was so huge! It looked all ugly and rusty from the outside. We loaded our luggage into the luggage truck and got a boarding pass. I got on the ship and I was impressed! You could even drive your car onto the ferry. The ship had a bar and nice dining rooms. In the kitchen, I got hash browns and some sausage. In the bar, they even showed the NFL playoffs. Sadly, the Colts were defeated by the Steelers, as they missed the field goal that would have tied the game. While watching the game, I met a man from South Africa who had moved here with his wife and children. We were crossing the Cook Strait, my first time crossing a strait. One of my goals for travelling in New Zealand was to cross the Cook Strait. It’s amazing; James Cook actually sailed through this strait! It was cold out, but the seascape was beautiful. I just stood up there and felt the ocean breeze against my face. At the same time I got some great pictures. On the ship, there were other young travellers sleeping wherever they could. The ferry ride was about three hours and, at about 12:30 we disembarked the ship and set foot on the South Island. I can now say I’ve been to both main islands of New Zealand. We jumped aboard a new coach in Picton. As we started our journey, I noticed a dramatic change in the scenery. The hills were brown instead of green. We were driving through the Marlborough region, which is the heart of New Zealand’s wine country. So there were a lot of vineyards. We started driving along the east coast of the South Island and stopped for photos of New Zealand seal colonies. It was so cool seeing seals in the wild. They look like sea dogs to me (their babies are called pups). After the seal stop, our next stop was Kaikoura. It was a nice little town. This area is known for its whales and marine life. In this nice little town, I got a few postcards and I emailed everyone. I haven’t heard from many of my friends. We had a half hour to stroll around, and I got a Red Bull and some grain waves. Then, we were on our way. There were no optional tours today, because it was all travelling. As we were driving along the coast, the hills became green again and I even caught a glimpse of ice up on a mountain. I’ll be seeing even more ice in the next few days. After driving though the South Island countryside for a few hundred miles, we made it to Christchurch. Known as the Garden City, Christchurch was founded by the English and I immediately noticed the architecture is quite different than in Auckland or Wellington. At 6:00, we were at our accommodation. The area we were staying in wasn’t in the heart of downtown like the other cities we’ve stayed in. It was a residential area. We hung around and chatted for awhile. I wanted to do a little bit of shopping before dinner, so I found out where all the shops were and I started walking. I was focused on getting a jacket for Nora. I got lost along the way but I got a map at a youth hostel and found some gift shops. I got some Tim Tams for the walk. I had to stop at several stores before find one that had the same jacket I was wearing. I finally bought one and I know Nora will be really happy! I have to get Mom a paua shell before I leave. I hurried back to the hotel and got back just in time to join the team for dinner. I had steak with sauce and peppercorn, fries, and a Diet Coke. Food here is very, very good. For dessert I had pavlova. They don’t have that food back home. After dinner I just relaxed. It got dark at 9:30 here. Imagine what it will be like in Queenstown! It’ll get dark even later. I then walked with some of the girls looking for a bottle shop, which is what liquor stores are called out here, and in Australia. We didn’t find one though. We walked back, went on the computer again and I then decided to call it a night. I wrote to all my friends before going to my room. We have a long drive to Fox Glacier tomorrow and I’m tired, so good night.

Tags: On the Road

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