Saturday, March 20, 2010

Hamner Springs

After a half day of organization and a short two hour drive we are now in Hamner Springs. We are at a place called The Chalet, which is a few chalet style buildings each with one or two bedrooms, and a kitchen/living room area. The view from there is beautiful....but no pictures today since I have a really poor internet connection.

This morning we finally connected with Sylvia and Roy (Monty's sister and brother-in-law). They got into the hotel around 1 AM in the morning after a flight from Brisbane, Australia. They needed to pick up their car, which is a Mazda Miata, so part of the morning was spent getting and loading their car. As you can imagine, it takes a certain amount of rearranging and stashing to get enough clothes into one of those for three weeks of travel. Yes, we are in two cars, but their original trip plan was to drive the south island in the Miata. Since we all couldn't fit in one Miata, and we tend to travel heavier, we rented "the big car" a Ford Mondeo, and they have the little run about. And yes we do have a couple of things of theirs in our car!

After picking up the car and some supplies, we drove up here to Hamner Springs. We are Northwest of Christchurch and kind of in the foothills of the New Zealand mountains. In case you didn't know, New Zealand is quite mountainous and in fact during the winter they have snow on the mountains. Driving into Hamner Springs I saw a sign as we came into Hamner Springs showing the direction to the local ski slope. This area also has hot springs and associated spas. We will be driving though the mountains on numerous occasions during our travels.

Weather today has been cloudy to partly cloudy with temperatures ranging from 15C (59F) to 23C (73F). No rain today and none so far on our trip. We expect it to cool and pleasant like this the rest of our trip, although we understand that at times it can turn quite cool.

Our stay in Hamner Springs is just for one night and tomorrow we head North to Nelson (the north end of the South Island) and then over to Able Tasman park. We will be there for a couple of days. Hopefully, the internet connection will be better there and I can get some more pictures posted with the blog. Meanwhile, I hope you don't mind just a word picture of our travels today.

At dusk we noticed some really unusual cloud formations. They were really pretty and fun to watch, so I'll leave you with this cloud picture. Until tomorrow....

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