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Road to East-Coast

11th September 15

We woke up in the middle of some road-ditch on our way to Tekapo.

The night before we had some beers at a desert pub by the fire (we were the only gests there). Funny thing, right after that and a little tipsy, on our way to a camp spot, we got trapped in the shoulder mud trying to turn around, so we spent the night there in the middle of the road.

Anyway, we woke up happy; it was the National day of Catalonia and also our first month in NZ anniversary, so much still to be seen!

The East landscape is not as wild as the West's.

We were on our way to Tekapo, the second-largest of three roughly parallel lakes north–south along the northern edge of the Mackenzie Basin . We could not appreciate much its turquoise colour because of the lack of sun but still got impressed by its magnitude. It has a small church in one of the shores with an incredible view to the snowed mountains that reflects on the lake.

We red somewhere that the second most important thing to do in town was to visit the "dog statue”, so we did it… And yes it is a statue of a dog. Nothing else, I thought we had to mention it though.

In the 19th century, Scottish shepherds came to work on the pastoral runs of the eastern South Island. The high country could not have been farmed successfully without the border collies they brought with them. To honour these ‘canine Scots’, a statue of a collie has been raised at Lake Tekapo.

After a pleasant walk around the lake we hit the road towards Christchurch.

It is a breath-taking scenery.

On 2010 a magnitude 7 earthquake struck the city and 6 months later a second one did it again.

While walking around the city on a grey day we felt like survivors of the end of the world. The centre is being rebuilt and you are constantly surrounded by half-destroyed buildings that are being rebuilt again.

We must say though that they're doing a great job in doing so, specially comparing to the way we do things were we come from. They've rebuilt temporarily I assume downtown with ship containers as shops, and they've called it Re:Start. They have marketed the event in many ways so they can benefit from it and looks like the city starts getting back to its feet.

We left Christchurch behind without a clear destiny. Our plan was just driving the east-coast up to the north. There were signs warning of the possibility of seals crossing, we were altert the whole time, and saw lots of them right next to the road sunbathing and taking naps. Amazing!

The colour of the ocean begins to clear at some point till it becomes turquoise, it is a beautiful setting, as the Seaward Kaikoura mountains, a branch of the Southern Alps, come nearly to the sea at this point on the coast. And there we ended, at Kaikoura town.

We spent two nights there before going to Picton and get the ferry back to the North.

We decided to leave early that morning to spend the whole morning at Picton. That was a mistake. In 5 minutes we already had visited Picton and there was nothing else to do. So we went to the library and spent the rest of the morning there while waiting for the Ferry to depart.

We were a bit sad about leaving the South, it had been only two weeks but it seemed like months. The same landscape that welcomed us 15 days ago was now at our back but it wont take long till we get back.

Once at the capital, Paula and Marc joined us for some beers at Goldings Pub. We ended having dinner at their place with the other flatmates and exchanging experiences about the island and Wellington. They insisted that we stay over but they already had a friend sleeping in the coach so we preferred not to disturb and spent the night at Dora’s.

The next day was a 9-hour way back to Auckland. We had to pick up some letters there the next morning and leave right and after that to Raglan again!

So… there we are! 5 days later!

The third one we saw a poster announcing some Raglan Film Festival and came up with an idea:

Buying two tickets for the next session; definitely not what we expected!

We arrived at the Raglan Old School Arts Centre to watch the movie, and there it was: One big living room with some sofas and chairs with a projector at the end.

There were no popcorn but homemade cakes.

There was no Coca-Cola but wine and beers.

There was no box-office but an old woman who welcomed us drawing a double check on her 5-name-list and inviting us to get into the room.

We definitely wont forget it.

Kind of the same thing happened to us the next day going to the Yot club to have some beer while listening to live music.

Raglan Film Festival at Old School Arts Centre

This town has something special and we are still caught in it!

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