Hello New Zealand!!
We say goodbye to Matt, L.A and America…then hello New Zealand. Quite an uneventful flight really after riding the greyhound for a month, most transport will now be as they say a piece of cake! (Another saying I find quite silly when I think about it so I chose not to think about it) We do the 14 hour flight then change in Auckland to go to Christchurch, the amount of security checks was at an all time high and I did get a tiny bit nervous when we arrived in New Zealand because I had boiled sweets in my pocket and you’re not allowed to bring food in but I luckily dodged that bullet, some would say I’m living on the edge, hehe!
We arrived at Christchurch and couldn’t find Samantha, so things always start running through your head…did I tell her the right day, time, are we at the right airport? Sam will never let me live this down if I’ve got it wrong and so on. After about 30mins a lady with a sign with my name on appears saying are you Sarah and Sam? Yep that’s us. So she begins to tell us we are staying with her overnight then she’s putting us on a bus in the morning. So we spent the night with Karen and her family in Christchurch; she makes us dinner, she drove us around, we have a hot shower, she makes us up a bed and all we have to do in return is do the dishes. I love being reminded that there are some nice people in this world. In the morning she drops us off at a bus stop for our coach, which is called the “Naked bus” apparently if you go on naked you get to ride free, I am super glad I didn’t test that theory as the bus was bloody freezing. On our way the bus driver calls out my name and tells me that a lady called Denise will be picking us up from the train station. We make it to Dunedin and head to the train station where we are met by Denise who drops us off at Sam and Sandy’s house so we could get settled and meet the pets. Their house is a bungalow on a little mount in a big valley with a big beautiful lake right in the middle, it’s rather splendid.
So we spend our time getting to know the area, the pets and just having a chill until the gang return and show us the best bits of the south island. We’ve made ourselves right at home at the closest village, already got ourselves a card for the little supermarket. The pets are Spike and Buster who are two Jack russels, a cat called Blue and a big tank with lots of fish. What a bizarre group they are… Blue constantly wants food and paws at your hand when you’re eating something with a spoon and when the dogs aren’t looking she eats their food. If you’re stoking Buster, Spike will go on two legs until you pay him attention and Buster will chase sticks in too deep water and chew on it till he bleed.
We’ve been taking the dogs on lots of walks and we saw what we thought would be a nice walk on a hill (before I start, Sam was having a sad seal day) we ended up in the middle of a forest and it was incline after incline heading to the top of a small mountain so Sam began to get tired and got into small child mode (in a funny way) so we turned around not making the top. On the way down poor sad seal slipped and fell down…she called out “hunny” I turned round to see her falling town with such a look of fear as she rolled into the fence, she didn’t know there was a fence and her face was so funny, she had a few tears and then laughed, kept me entertained for hours.
On Saturday morning Sam rang to tell us there was a farmers market on at Dunedin town so we headed down to get something nice for dinner. We got ourselves some sausage and potato’s, it was really cheap as well. After we’d had a look around the market we then headed to the town centre to have a look around Dunedin. We had it in mind to get dog trousers; they malt like crazy so as soon as you sit in the front room you’re covered. We go into a charity shop and I saw a whole new side to Sam, she found a pair of joggers and they were $1…that is 50p people!!! She went crazy picking up everything from cuddly toys to tiny purses. She ran up to me with a hat she had found, for again, yes you guessed it a $1 and shouted ”I’M GETTING IT!!” then scurried off. I had to drag her out of the shop, she was crazy…saying to me what’s wrong with you if I bought 10 things it would be $10!!!!
As usual time flies by and it’s time for Sam to return home, she is getting picked up by her friend Annabelle but she gets called Lee. It is so great to see Sam and we could tell instantly that Lee is a lovely, fun, nice lady. She was cleaning out the fish tank with one of those magnets that works as a kind of window wiper and it pulled by the magnet on the outside. She drops the magnet in the tank and doesn’t want to reach in so I give it a go and end up getting my arm jammed in the bloody thing. After a few minutes of everyone laughing we get it free; Sam thought it was pretty funny that we could have possibly had to call out the fire brigade to set me free!!
Lee and Sam both drive around New Zealand selling products to shops and within an hour Lee says that she is going to some beautiful places and that she is stopping off somewhere then driving back the next day and do we want to tag along so we jump at the chance. Boy she wasn’t wrong, we were in the car for 7hours and every minute was filled with beautiful scenery…from mountain’s with snow on the top, lakes with water that was baby blue, as far as the eye could see just land with mountain’s in the distance not ruined by shopping malls, houses or busy motorways, just the natural earth. Lee had to stop off in different places to sell her products so we had a chance to take in the scenery and see random little places. One was called Lake Tepako where we stopped for lunch. There was a small church on a little hill and behind it was a bright blue lake surrounded by mountains with snowy tops…if you’re thinking of getting married I would check it out. She was staying with her niece but got us a cheap hotel and is picking us up in the morning, we are in a hotel that is on top of a bar and could only be described as the one from the shining. We headed out for dinner and there is two pubs and they’re your only options, the town is so quiet, it’s 8pm and it feels like 6 in the morning. We got a take out from the pub and sat on a bench eating our dinner while the sun went down.
What a difference going from America to New Zealand, it is such a beautiful place and doesn’t have hardly any known named brands, the roads are small and are rarely busy, they have little villages, there are no tramps to be seen and on first impressions the number of crazy people has decreased dramatically, it’s like we’ve headed back in time…it would be nice if it always stays this way.