>What a day. We woke up in Dunedin and decided that we had enough of the second largest city on the south island. There has been a fishing vest staring at me for a while, so Mojdeh bought it for me as a Christmas present. (Christmas has been a bit different this year.) It is the Riverworks Tongariro Fly Vest and I am stoked!
We jumped on a bus to head out of town to start hitch hiking. The bus driver knew a good place to drop us off and was very friendly. At one stop, he jumped out to pick walnuts for a couple of American tourists (not us) that were inquiring about the trees. We also saw him run down the street telling a bus driver of a different company that his engine cover was open. Did I mention that he was a nice guy? This is the typical Kiwi hospitality that we have found. We waited for about 15 minutes before a guy picked us up and took us about 45 minutes north to a dumpy town called Palmerston.
We thought about trying to get to Christchurch, but it is a 4-5 hour drive. Last time we did a 4 hour drive hitchhiking, it took us 9 hours. We weren’t too optimistic. A couple of guys picked us up that were on break from school. They were 17 and driving all over the south island. They work on the family farms during the summer. One kid had over 2,500 sheep at his farm. They took us to see the Moeraki Boulders.
These guys were driving almost all the way to Christchurch and we all got along. We talked about as much as you can with 17 yr old rugby players, but it included politics, the weather, and lots of sports. They dropped us off about 25 km outside of Christchurch and we were very grateful. The next people to pick us up were a couple that were… how do I say this nicely… not my kind of people. I think that his hobbies were wiring his sound system in his car between hits of the crystal meth pipe and getting his girlfriend pregnant. She was very nice, probably 18, pregnant, and Maori. He was white, 25-35 years old with teeth messed up from smoking cigarettes and crack. He had long braids, like a white Snoop Dogg. So we rolled into town, bass thumping, keeping our gangster lean, and looking cool. They dropped us off at a bus stop about 30 seconds before I opened the door to tuck and roll on the freeway. I would feel safer tumbling down the road clutching my backpack than more time in that car.
We made it to our hostel where we planned on camping. The door was locked and a big hairy man openend the door wearing white painting overalls. He had a thick Russian (I don’t mean to seem ignorant, it was some sort of Eastern European, or possibly Russian) accent. I didn’t notice any painting going on anywhere. We asked to see where there was place to put our tent. He took us to the back “yard”. A sad patch of uneven land with bits of grass in random areas. He warned us that it was Saturday night, so there might “be some parrrty” in the back yard tonight. I balked and got us a room.
So here we sit in a dirty room that looks like a prison. We found some kick ass Indian takeaway and we are making the most of it. I think that tomorrow we are leaving Christchurch as fast as possible. There was more to this story about drunks on the bus and people trying to sell us liquor on the street corners, but this post is already too long.