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So, a pretty fun weekend, but I’ll start up with a pic of Christchurch that took last week.

Which is a pic of someone punting on the Avon, the river which flows through the city. Apparently the city is called after the college of Christchurch in Oxford? Seems a funny name for a college to me.., will have to check that one out.

Anyway, so yes, Friday was a lazy enough day, mainly spent praying that I’d get a call with another job so that I’d not have to go and do the door-to-door sales on Monday.. :) Hehe, well maybe it’ll be fun.

So I headed into town, after getting mostly packed for Wanaka this weekend. I was pretty annoyed at myself for forgetting my silk sheet-bag (like a sleeping bag only it’s just a silk sheet). Which my brother Matt had given me when he came back from Oz… and it’s a very nice piece of travelling equipment, as most hostels will provide blankets for free as long as you have a sheet bag. Which is excellent as it means you don’t have to bring a sleeping bag so you can travel light.

Only I left mine in Ireland.

Which was annoying. So anyway, headed to The Salvation Army shops (they’re all over ChCh) to get some clothes for my door to door sales… just so that I could look the part.

And I was pleasantly surprised.

For $20 ~ Euro10 I got :

  • A sheet bag – cotton – $2
  • A Shirt $4
  • A pair of linenish trousers $6
  • A pair of ‘proper’ shoes $8
  • A belt – free

So that cheered me up somewhat! Good old bargains, and to be honest, it’s really actually not such a bad looking set of clothes for a tenner! I’ll put a pic up sometime.. though twill be interesting to see how much I enjoy walking around in the shoes all day Monday, seeing as they’re only an OK fit.

Right.. so that was Friday afternoon – and then once Maeve had arrived home we headed off for Wanaka – which is a town, by a lake, about 70Km from Queenstown – about a 5 or 6 hour drive from ChCh.

So off we went.. and a fine old drive it was, though we have to get a tape adapter for the car so that I can plug my jukebox in, radio here is pretty patchy. The only really interesting thing along the way – well, worthy of note, besides the awesome scenery and ‘Fush and Chips’ (it’s how they say it), was – well flying along in our trusty car – gazillions of flies, moths etc. loved our headlights. And loved them so much they totalled themselves against our windshield.

So we washed them off.

Until we ran out of wash.

So… I was all up for stopping the car and hopping a fence and getting water by hook or by crook from one of these massive rotating water-spraying things they have for keeping their crops watered. But we didn’t.. as the road we were travelling on was due to cross a river, and we figured we’d head down and fill up.

Fortunately, I spotted a pub/hotel and we just called in there and filled up from their bathroom… I was heading back and forth with my water bottle to fill up, and then one of the inhabitants came out.. and offered me a jug. Which I thought was nice! – but I was finished by then, still, was nice. They really *are* nice over here. Which, to be honest, takes a little getting used to.

Onwards to Wanaka. Got there about midnight and pretty much crashed.

Saturday up bright and early, this…



Is pretty much the view from town.. the shops etc. are just behind where this pic was taken. It’s pretty sick just how beautiful this place is sometimes, just hope it doesn’t completely spoil me :) Still… sometimes it’s fun to be spoilt.

So yeah, onwards to the climbing, after buying the guide ($20).

The rock is Schist, which is something I was familiar ish from climbing in New Hampshire it’s the same rock. And I like it. Even if it is a little dirty… the friction is awesome. Which is good, as the handholds were all quite small, so often it was balancy moves.

Yes, this was a very very easy climb, but I’m just easing myself back into leading.

And here’s one of Glynn

We did a rake of routes over the course of the day, all 15’s and 16s, which is really only about French 5a/5b. However, Wanaka grades are harder than other places… certainly some of them didn’t quite feel like 5a…

So yeah, that was fun.

Oh, this next picture isn’t actually of kite surfing, as it’s not on water, but there was someone doing kite surfing in the evening, and it looks great . Really great. And I guess very dangerous too. But still… what a sport. Doubt it’s faster than windsurfing.. but I must check that out. And I really really *really* want to try it.

Basically you have a massive kite and you just fly along, do massive jumps, and generally get hurt a lot when you smack into stuff at high speed.

So a couple of beers, a nice Thai dinner (Maeve had forgotten she was wearing her Thai t-shirt out and the waitress’ were most impressed, and she got to use her Thai to say thanks). Good food though, shame the Bangkok cafe looks like it’s closed down back home in Dublin :(

SO yeah, then a bottle ‘o wine in front of a fire in the hostel, and it was just a good way to end a great day.

—sunday–

Up, off bouldering, met a couple of Americans, lovely people, two of them on a two week climbing honeymoon, from Chicago. Tom and Lena just incase anyone is passing through Red River Gorge / climbing in Chicago and spots them! And a bloke ‘wots name I didn’t get, who is working illegally as he was training to be a commercial pilot, but after 9/11 it all fell through, so off he went travelling, was doing some flying for a sheep ranch, and then moved to Wanaka when that finished up, and is now working for a fush and chip shop. Still, he gets to drive the boss’ company car on his days off… and it has a cool fish on the roof. Again, wish I’d taken a pic, would make this story so much better ;)

All too soon was time to head home, so after stopping off in town – where Maeve got a pair of Oakleys (with Glynns help ), and I went for a walk on the pier, and came across these tiles, all the way along the seafront.





It was their marking of the millennium. Admittedly a year early like everyone else, but hey.

So yup, they had tiles from about 1200 up, there were gaps though ;)

Drive home was pretty spectacular though, as we went by Mt. Cook and others, quite spectacular



At least I think it was Mt. Cook, not too sure really.

And now back in ChCh, starting work tomorrow… have decided that I will work on whatever I have to in order to stay employed so that I can have tonnes of cash for a good round the world onward trip later…even if that does mean door-to-door or labouring.. Though I am angling for an opening that’ll be coming up in one of the recruitment agencies when one of their number leaves at Christmas time… fingers crossed… the woman in charge is from Graystones. So that can’t hurt my chances ;)

much.

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