It seems like everytime I am surrounding by amazing people at a hostel we all end up leaving on the same day, which is good, in a way, but it also means there’s a weird feeling of finality in the air as none of us will likely be coming back to the hostel and so the amazing time we had there with each other is over… its very strange. And so it was with reluctance and a good deal of goodbyes and promises of keeping in touch that I got on the bus to Christchurch, leaving Hanmer Springs behind me.
I’m not sure I’ve moaned the bus situation before but basically theres no direct bus from Hanmer to Kaikoura (even though they’re both big toursist destinations and it's an hours drive…) instead you have to do a 4hr detour through to Christchurch and then wait around in Christchurch for another 3 hours. I was tempted to hitchhike (don’t kill me mum, I didn’t) because everyone does it, but I’ve barely got any time left on the South Island and I didn’t want to waste any of the few precious days I have left stood at the side of a road. Instead I whiled away my time in the botanical gardens, having an impromptu picnic while the ducks edged ever closer!
This particular was determined to get my sandwich!
I managed to find the YHA (why they decide some YHAs need different names I’ve no idea, it just makes it confusing…) and figure out the locker system so I could pop my little polka dot suitcase in there and therefore get around much easier. It’s only a little suitcase but I don’t really want to take it into shops with me..
Long story short I had a lovely afternoon in Christchurch, until it came to getting to my bus stop. I know I’ve rambled about the state of things in Christchurch before but the I-Site has pretty decent maps of the area that they regualarly update with which roads are closed off so and hour before my bus was due I picked my route to the bus stop (the entire thing was only meant to take 20 minutes but you know me, I much prefer being early). So I set off and I'd only gone 5 minutes when a road was blocked off, not a problem, Christchurch is arranged in a Grid pattern so I can just take the next street, but then that one was blocked off too, still not a problem - I had plenty of time... but then every road I needed to turn down was blocked off.
Basically I ended up having to run. I'm not exagerating here, this wasn't super speedwalking or a little jog when your bus is going to pull away, no this was a full on sprint to get to the bus (this was the one and only bus to kaikoura that day so i needed to catch it). On the plus side, I did make it (just) and to all those who weren't running like a crazy person I'm sure it was hilarious, particularly as my suitcase constantly fell into the ditches on the pavements...
Beautiful Kaikoura Beach
But I did catch the bus and I did get to Kaikoura. The only other bump on the road was when I got off the bus and found out the hostel (which Cara, Axel and George all raved about) was on the other side of town… Oh and it started raining just as I started my hours walk to the hostel. It’s a good thing I had such a relaxed afternoon, oh and the fact the hostel has a free sauna, pool and hot tub stopped the rain hindering my good mood too!
P.S people back home keep mentioning how close Christmas is and it’s so strange – I don’t feel remotely Christmassy. I’m blaming the weather as it just doesn’t feel like Christmas! I’m hoping I’ll feel more Christmassy when I get home!
P.P.S I popped into a department store while dawdling some hours in christchuch and I think I can now officially call myself tanned after stopping at some make up counters and finding out I've gone up several shades - I'm no longer the palest shade!