Banks peninsula

March 24, 2009

DTG_7901 After a long sleep for the driver (near 11 hours) in the Queen bedroom we went straight to the kitchen to fry our beef sausages for breakfast. We escaped a fine, as in NZ you have to park your vehicle in the sense of the traffic, and we always have parked where we saw a spot, so we have been quite lucky apparently not to get a fine, according to the owner of the backpackers. We had decided to spend the day in the Peninsula, inspecting every single little bay marked in the map. The windy roads took us to several beautiful bays, and the most amazing thing is that there was none in any of them, no tourists, no locals, well in Diamond Harbour, at the Jetty there was a woman walking her dog. Otherwise you visit these tiny villages where locals are gardening or are sat outside in their yard talking and watching birds fly around. In one of these communities, I got all excited at what I thought was an extraordinary encounter with a kea, the indigenous parrot. I made dani stop suddenly ( but at the fast speed of 20km/h, our teeth did not risk biting the windscreen), caught his camera and run outside to catch the famous bird which also run away. I took at least 5 photos of the poor animal, all equally bad, only to realize when I read the description of the kea, that this one was more a chicken style animal… DTG_7906 We continued up and down the hills around the peninsula to get to a point with another road sign which read “film crew”. As we did not think that it was a movie, we were wondering how we could relate seal with film in terms of road work. The lady with the stop sign came to tell us it won’t be long and that we should drive slowly by the car they were filming. And yes, the new Porsche Cayenne Turbo without a dusk particle was shining 200 meters away with the front plate German and the back one NZ. So we were in the primacy of the ad shooting!! The car is beautiful, so if you are not concerned with the environment, your parking place, the amount of petrol it consumes and maybe the price, buy it and let me drive it!

DTG_7932 We went to the next Bay, and suddenly the road converted itself in a a gravel one and half the size of the previous one. Fortunately for us, we only crossed with one other car coming in the opposite sense, so we have to go backwards for a while and then get the closest to the rock ( they had to get closest to the cliff). In Diamond Harbour we stopped for a tea break at a fabulous place with views to Littleton at the other side of the Peninsula. We could breath serenity and calm here. We stopped again at Littleton which is the Commercial port of Christchurch and apart from London Street, nothing really interesting, so we decided to continue to stop some 5 km further in Sumnet for the 30th time in the day. Another short walk and back in the car to the liveliest town in the South Island. We had booked our last two nights in NZ in Jailhouse, which was a jail some 50 years or so ago. But the backpackers did not appear in the GPS, so dani armed himself with patience to follow the copilot instructions and reading of the map…

We got there and with no mistakes! I am very proud of my orientation, though it was proven later on that it was a question of chance. We left our things and went to the car to drive back to the city centre, as the pleasant 30 min walk, was probably more of a pleasure with sun. We walked around to have a sense of the city, me starving, and dani fine. So we could not quite agree on the restaurant we were going to visit. I am always fixed with Japanese, and dani wanted steak. So in the end, Thai won and we both ordered Satay (chicken for me and beef for dani). Ummmmm, delicious!! Now we are in our cell, reading and writing with 2 duvets on, as it is terribly cold in this country as soon as the sun goes down. It is definitely a place worth staying, it looks like a real old jail, same style as the Rock in SFO.

1 comment

  1. Comment by MORK

    MORK Reply March 25, 2009 at 2:23 pm

    Vaya pasada pensar que un autentico paraiso como ese se pueda estar tan solo como explicais. Parece inpensable, supongo que por europa algo tan paradisiaco estaria a rebentar de gente. Debe ser alucinante sentirse solo en medio de una naturaleza tan abrumadora, tan brutal como la de NZ.
    Increible, vaya pasada…

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