Friday, October 31, 2008

Day 11: Christchurch and Arthur's Pass

Oct 1st

Logan slept in until 7:30am!! I know I keep saying it, but seriously. I think wearing him out by crawling around the night before is really helping.

We went for breakfast at another hotel, recommended by one of our guidebooks. It was okay, but they were a little snooty and cleaned up the buffet SUPER FAST, so we had to hurry and cram our plates high with food before it was all gone. At least the food was light (cereal, toast, fruit) since my stomach wasn't feeling too good this morning (nauseous and feeling 10 lbs fatter! Do you think it's from all the carbs?)

We did a really quick self-guided two hour walk around Christchurch's town center for some pictures (of course!) and a little culture. We saw their famous Cathedral (it was nice, but we've been spoiled by the ones in Europe), walked through some city streets (very European/English), an art museum, a few old buildings, a couple parks, etc. Everything we stumbled around town seemed very picturesque. It started sprinkling during our walk, so we stopped at Sala Sala to fill our tummies with a little lunch and stay dry. YUM! (altho, Logan peed through his outfit - again - and a little on me, with no change of clothes on us! dangit!) :(

Our walk around town was short because we had to get on the road for the long drive ahead of us - through Arthur's Pass to the other side of the island. And, it was supposed to be beautiful so we wanted to make sure we were on the road to see everything before it got dark. :)

And all the reports were totally accurate. The drive was absolutely stunning! It was pretty damn cold on some parts of the pass - the coldest the temperature registered (on the car) was 5 degrees Celsius. Brrrrrrr.

We drove through gorgeous views of valleys and snow tipped peaks. My breath was really taken away - and I couldn't help thinking that the mountains we were driving through would make for some really great snowboarding! :) We also hit some slippery, icy, steep curves down the mountain, after the top of the pass, which really freaked me out. Jill thought it was funny that I was so nervous. I think I'm more nervous and antsy (in the car) now that I'm a mom, since I don't remember ever getting this nervous about driving through passes and valleys pre-Logan.

The mountains and peaks looked so tall and enormous to me, yet the highest point we drove through was about 3300 feet, and the highest peak in the National Park is only about 8-9000 feet. Which made it kinda weird and puzzling to me - why did it feel SO much bigger? We didn't stop for pics unfortunately (no time!) so I took some blurry lame ones from the car window as we whizzed by instead. Oh well.....

Once we got to the west coast, we stopped in a small town called Greymouth for dinner and groceries since the place we were staying at didn't have a store or restaurants. It was 7pm and not ONE restaurant was open!! JEEZ. We finally found the Bonzai Pizzeria that was open, so we scarfed down a couple of pizzas (they were pretty good but not great - I think we were all just really hungry). Then we bought groceries and headed to Punakaiki where we were staying for the night.

It was dark, late and we were all pretty tired from the drive when we checked in (Logan was already conked out in the car). Our cottage charged us for a crib ($15!) which was a first, but Jon and I were too exhausted to argue, especially since we were only staying there one night.

Just give us a damn bed already so we can stretch out and crash. Please.

No comments: