Tuesday, 20 March 2007

Christchurch, New Zealand

We arrived in New Zealand safely to a chilly 8 degrees! A little different from the humidity of Cairns. Apparently it had been about 30 degrees a few days earlier but they were having some freak weather! Thankfully, it has warmed up again to a comfortable 20 degrees.

Our first day in Christchurch was really relaxed which was a good break from the madness of Australia. We took a walk to Cathedral Square and enjoyed a Starbucks while watching people play chess in the middle of the square. There is a chess set out everyday and people challenge total strangers.

Hobbits playing standard size chess!
Can't imagine the chess pieces still being around in Glasgow for that to work! The city centre is relatively quiet for being a city and everything is within walking distance.

The cathedral of Cathedral Sq and The Chalice, an arty statue thingy...
We took a city tram ride to find out about some of the history, wandered through the markets in the square and watched street performers including one guy who was very good and sounded just like Neil Young. We thought he was miming for a while!

Traditional Tram

Then we got a bus to go on the city gondola. There is a river flowing through Christchurch so we thought we'd be going to a boat but instead it was a chairlift. It takes you 1500 feet above sea level, on the crater rim of Christchurch's extinct volcano to get a 360 degree view of the city. It was amazing.

View from the gondola

The background looks fake but it isn't!

The evenings here are pretty quiet. We found a cheap chip shop which was selling fish and chips for $4! It's about $2.67 to the pound at the moment so we were looking forward to a tasty bargain but the shop closed at 5pm! So went back to the hostel to watch Lord of the Rings with lots of other fans staying at the hostel. We're staying at Charlie B's and this is by far the best hostel we have stayed in so far. Every time new people arrive they think it'd be a great idea to watch Lord of the Rings! It's almost on a constant loop!

We visited the Art Gallery where we saw Sam Neil from Jurassic Park. We also visited the Antartic Centre which was quite fun where we went for a bumpy ride in a real Hagglund then braved the storm where temperatures dropped to -25 degrees! It was baltic! We also saw some penguins which were a good laugh - there's a blind one called Elvis who kept swimming into the rocks! It was a bit if a shame but still quite funny!

Our hostels are getting smaller!

Pammy keeps warm in the recreated Antartic storm

Action shot of Ryan on an ice slide

A Hagglund- the vehicle used to drive over the Antartic.

On Sunday we went to Calvary Chirstchurch. It was really nice - a bit like Calvary Motherwell which was strange coming all this way around the world. The people were really friendly and we even got a dinner invite for the next evening. Then one of the ladies dropped us off at a backpackers car market so we could have a look and see what was available to buy. A lot of people buy a cheap vehicle and then sell it once they have travelled around NZ. There was nothing special at the car market so we headed back to the hostel for some lunch and TV watching with other lazy backpackers! It was great!

Monday was filled with trying to decide how we were going to get about New Zealand with no decisions being made - you know us, we can never make a decision! We went to Kieron and Ruth's house for dinner and enjoyed some great home cooking and a lovely cake too, made by their daughter Bethany. They have two other children Damian and Jessica. They gave us lots of good ideas and tips for travelling around New Zealand which was great. Unfortunately we forgot to take a photo of them for the blog - sorry guys but thanks for your great advice and hospitality. Next time you are in Scotland please get in touch!

On Tuesday we looked at a few cars and campervans but none seemed right or they were just too expensive. We nearly bought two but were pipped at the post by higher bidders. We trust that this was meant to be though. So, instead of spending another few days in Christchurch wondering what to do we just decided to hire a vehicle so we can set off on our travels.

We hired a spaceship! Yip, that's right - we'll be travelling around Middle Earth in a spaceship! It's pretty cool. It's a bit like a people carrier with lots of hidden compartments, a camp stove, fridge, dvd player and a bed- so it'll also be our accommodation for the next month too! It's costing about the same price as buses and hostels so it's not too bad.

The Spaceship

We've already recruited a fellow traveller to share fuel costs and we'll drop her off at the next town. The weird thing is her name is Dianna and she worked at British Gas the same time as Ryan and then also at HSBC around about the same time as him too! Bizarre.

We really looking forward to travelling around New Zealand and some of the scenery we've seen already has been amazing. We bought a Lord of The Rings location guide book, so we have already scheduled in stops at Hobbiton, Weathertop, and the spot where Frodo and Sam see Oliphants!

We've had quite a bit of free time in Christchurch while we sorted out our transport plans so it's given us time to get the blog up to date. Hope you are all enjoying the pics and hope everyone is well...


Mum & Dad Ferrie said...

Hi Ryan & Pamela
Your Package arrived safely today. Thank you for Card and beautiful flowers also.
The latest pics are awesome, think Dad and I will get Spaceship Car thingy it looks cool.
I was quite pleased you went for hiring rather than buying a hippy van.

.....And when you get the choice to sit it out or Dance,I hope you Dance.
Glad you chose to dance, enjoy the next part of your adventure.

Daniel Son said...

hello campers... ryan i got the news a couple of weeks ago that i was 1 of only 2 people in the higher class who passed their personal study first time off :-o

after my teacher trying to gives us that book that is usually only for int 2 , we sure showed her lol :-p thanks for all of your turoring i can certainly see that it is all paying off...

that iglo looked quite cosie how much was that per nite?

the places you have visited look rather impressive but u can never beat sunny scotland. our weather is awsome now we have been getting snow and its the middle of march.

seeing crocs up close is a frightning experience, we did the same sort of river trip when we went to florida.

well take care both of you and keep enjoying yourselfs. x

Lindsay-May said...


Blog is awesome! its getting better everytime and the pics are amazing! Cant believe how much stuff yous are doing. Such a great experience!!!! still really jealous and still missing yous. Pammy, just thought is tell u tht me and ruth and leigh-anne are goin 2 stay with yours sister angela and tim in august! il be away beore u get back! just wanted to tell you. im excited about meeting them. sure i will love them if they are as awesome as you. :D

Hope yous have millions of fun in New Zealand. By the way...i just clicked on that Lord of the Rings is set in NZ i was wonderin why yous were talking about it som much haha!

Love yas xxxxxxxxxx

Andrew Weir said...

Hi guys, it's maybe a bit cheeky, but Hi-5 every Kiwi you meet from us as we're missing being there.

If you want to see some of where we went, www.getjealous.com/andy-jenny.

get in touch if you want me to email you where we stayed as we took a camper 'round the South Island just a few weeks ago!

Also, we've got friends in Auckland who might be able to help out if you need it.


Andy & Jenny Weir

Diana said...

Thanks for the ride - really enjoyed my trip South with you. Great company, good tunes, superb walks and amazing scenery. Maybe see you along the way again but definatley when I get back to sunny South Lanarkshire. Look forward to seeing the update on the blog of the last few days.
Take Care and enjoy the rest of your spaceship travels. Love Diana

danny ferrie said...

that is some size of corneto in the second picture,how long did it take to eat and what flavour was it,that should be in the blog with the big shrimp or whatever that was haha,also i knew travelling was a big thing in those parts of the world but even the cars have backpacks on ,come on whats that all about,seen your mam and dad the other day there ryan,i cant go to the first golf day this year,so that just leaves they other two ferries to keep the challenge up for us,bye pamela bye ryan xx

elizabeth scott said...

great to see you having a great time looking forward to reading about your next adventures

paul said...

Hey guys, this trip is getting more surreal as you go!!! Love the wagon, is it that colour?? Really missing you both. Toby is delighted with his bear and letter, very special guys. He is twenty pounds in weight and too big for his first car seat now. He is a big healthy boy and looks like he will may be a boxer or defensive line backer unless i get him to mums loft gym. By the way mum has knocked the wall down between our rooms, apparently there was eastern ferries on one side of the wall and western ferries on the other and when the wall came down...... there was a tenner stuck behind your captains bed which i remember i dropped 12 yr ago, honestly i know its mine as its brown and made of paper. Ryan, two monkeys in a bath, one says to the other, ooh ooh a ooh oo oooh (arms under oaksters etc) ooh oooh aaahh aahhh (screaming monkey type noises added) oo aaa ooo aaa oooooooohhh aaaaaahhhh........... the other monkey says for goodness sake put some cold water in!!! love ya both and countin the days xxx