Round The World and other travels

A frequent flyer's collection of trip diaries

This is: Round The World 2004

Onwards to Christchurch

I got up at 0715 and had a cooked breakfast from the hotel's buffet selection. It was a foul morning in Queenstown - cool, leaden skies, windy - and it started to rain while I was eating. As soon as breakfast was finished, I got myself organised, got the car loaded and hit the road. I had not been travelling for long when the weather cleared up very nicely, but with the unfortunate effect that I was dressed a bit too warmly for the new conditions.

Today was to be a fairly solid day's driving, but the consolation was that conditions were good and the route, for the most part anyway, was very scenic. I played all five of the Beethoven Piano Concertos, including the great 'Emperor', one of my all-time favourite pieces of music. Now all I need is a chance to cycle through the nine symphonies, which I also have with me

The first 70-80% of the drive was very enjoyable, showing me many different faces of the New Zealand landscape. The standard of driving on the country roads tends to be better as well, with slower drivers usually extending others the courtesy of allowing them to pass. Once I joined the fairly busy Route 1, both the scenery and the driving deteriorated and I could easily have allowed myself to become annoyed again at all the 'wandering' of far too many cars : left tyres on the shoulder, back between the lines again, right tyres hanging over the centre line, lurching out of the way of oncoming traffic ... give me strength   Every time a passing lane opened up, I 'floored it' to get past whoever was annoying me, usually only to find somebody else behaving in exactly the same way. Maybe the government here should save some money and not bother putting all that white and yellow paint on the roads at all

Eventually I was in Christchurch itself and, thanks to a very friendly and helpful antique shop owner , it didn't take me too long to locate the hotel. I decided to save further exploration of the city for the following day.

Lindis Pass Lake Pukaki - amazing colour, amazing high winds! Lunch stop in Fairlie - everything for the tourist. Ostrich, anyone?

Friday 19 Mar

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