The West Coast and Canterbury

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Kia Ora! I believe I left off with just arriving in Greymouth. I  know exactly why they call it Greymouth. Because it rains all the time, and it was pouring when I arrived. I got directions to where I would be staying. I put the rain cover on my backpack and went for it. Some parts through the town would have rain shelters, but I would say more than half of my journey was out in the pouring rain. My rain cover and rain jacket worked excellently. They were soaked and I was dry underneath. My glasses kept fogging up in the rain which I thought was humorous. I was still phone-less at this point, so as soon as I got checked in I ventured back out into the rain to get a new phone. I was successful. I went to the Wal-Mart of New Zealand and got a pay as you go phone. It is not comparable to my iPhone, but it will work in the meantime. Luckily the store had free wifi, so I hung out for a while to download what apps I would need and get the phone working. It was still raining, but I made my way down to Monteiths Brewery for a tour and some grub. Almost my entire journey to Greymouth was at a recommendation of a friend who was here a few years ago. They took the train from Christchurch to Greymouth and went to the brewery. I went to the brewery and took the train from Greymouth to Christchurch. It was still daylight out and the rain had finally stopped. They are plenty of bush walks around Greymouth, so I decided to take one to a viewpoint nearby. Just a two-hour walk. I didn’t really think of the fact that it had been raining hard all day and the trail would be wet, muddy and slippery. I was only in my trainers, but I ventured forth anyway. The trail was taking longer because I was doing what I could to avoid large mud puddles. I made two of the three viewpoints when I decided to turn around. My decision came when I reached a mud hill. I took 3 maybe 4 steps up the hill and honestly just slide right down it. It was getting darker, and my shoes were wet. The way down was probably a little harder than going up because as I would step down onto what I thought was good hard ground, I would watch my foot sink into the mud. I finally made my way down the trail but the bottom of my pants and my trainers were soaked in mud. I did my best to clean them up. I just did laundry, and still have a few days before I’ll do more, The next day I thought I would explore around Greymouth a bit more before my train, but again it rained cats and dogs. I think the rain was more intense the second day. The town of Greymouth isn’t very big. I’m fairly certain I walked around it twice. I mailed off a postcard and decided to get some tea while I waited for my train. My pants were soaked, but they dried quickly. I had my hiking boots on, so they kept my feet dry. I boarded my train for one of the most scenic rides in all of New Zealand. We went through Arthur’s Pass National Park. The snow capped mountains, the streams, lakes and finally the glacier river were all beautiful. The train ride was relaxing and I didn’t feel sick once. It’s been determined I do get car sick. So now I usually have to sit at the front of the bus. But the train ride was perfect. They also had commentary going if you wanted to learn more about the history. I did what I could to take pictures and capture the moment. I arrived in Christchurch at 6:45 and underestimated how close my next accommodation was to the train station. Thank goodness it was not raining because it was almost an hour walk with all my luggage. I carry around 3 pieces. My backpack with all my clothes, gear, my day pack, and a food bag. The backpack isn’t very light either. But I did it. I had almost a full day to kill in Christchurch before taking the bus to Kaikoura. I call it a full day, my bus was at 4. My friend who was also was in Christchurch wouldn’t catch the bus until 11pm. I will probably be sleeping before he gets on the bus back to Queenstown. We met up downtown and decided to walk to the shops they had and through the Botanical Garden. We decided to rent a kayak and cruise through the park. I had left all of my bags at the hostel and had the brilliant idea of kayaking up the river to my hostel, grabbing my bag and then heading back. As we approached the destination where we needed to turn around I decided to get out and grab my things. Turns out not only do I get car sick on bus rides but I am also horrible at reading maps. I walked in one big circle and was back at the place where we rented the kayak. I waited for my friend who had paddled back alone and decided to just call a cab. I was telling him about my bad omens in Nelson and that the previous night a bird had pooped on my face. No joke. We had a good laugh. He didn’t understand why I was having such bad luck, and I told him this was nothing compared to what I went through this time last year. And that I was blessed to be where I am today. Bad luck and all.

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