For the first time, I am completely seat-of-my-pants-ing alone!
After Doubtful Sound, I was eager to get going, so in Te Anau I got back on the stray bus and went to Milford Sound for the day. Most people have some opinion about whether you should do Milford over Doubtful or whether one is better than the other. After seeing both, I thought Doubtful was more amazing *because* it’s hard to get to, but if you don’t have the time or propensity Milford is equally amazing nature.
We took a day trip there and then returned to Te Anau. From there I was scheduled to go to Tautapere, but I asked the driver what we were doing there and it was a sheep farm tour and sausage dinner. Neither sounded all that interesting to me (especially for $30NZD), so I hopped off the bus, went to the bus station and bought a one way ticket to Queenstown for the night. (Side note, on the way to Queenstown, the bus driver showed the movie The World’s Fastest Indian. He thought they kept it in Te Papa Museum, but I corrected him that it was at Hammer Hardware. He was so excited to know where to find it. 🙂 Then scheduled a stray pickup to go to Christchurch the next morning.
Boy am I glad I did that because Christchurch is happening! This week by chance, I’m here for the Buskers Festival (a busker is a street performer). It’s been a really fun time watching the performers (sword swallower, aerealists, clowns, etc). Then I happened onto a concert in the park and I found the cheapskates section and sat and listened for a while.
The weather has been incredibly warm, so tomorrow I’m going to Akoroa, the beach town 1.5 hours south of here. I’ll stay the day and spend the night. Another seat of the pants thing…I was originally scheduled to go to Akoroa on a bus at 9AM, but I walked up to the top of the cathedral (134 stairs, very similar to the corkscrew stairs in La Sagrada Familia) and saw that they have real bells and when I asked I found out they ONLY rung them on Sundays before service (I thought Noon, but they didn’t show up, apparently they’re too loud for the town to have them every day). I asked if it would be possible to watch them ring the bells and they said sure, but don’t tell anyone they said so. 🙂 So tomorrow morning I’m going to watch the belltollers from their special room in the tower!! Then I’ll head to Akoroa on a later bus.
In all, I give ChCh a big thumbs up. Cool town, nice people, lots happening. I’m hoping to bring Blair back here in a few weeks when she arrives.