30/1/10 - Sat outside a coffee shop near the Christchurch Art Gallery
I'll start with the walk back from Sumner, I cunningly turned the walk into a circular route by coming back on the other side of the road. This was mainly because I thought I was being funny and was amusing myself but it ended up being a great decision because I noticed so much more looking at the villages I was passing instead of out to the estuary and the sea.
I discovered that many of the houses in the hills had no road access and some of them even had their own monorails. I loved these houses and dreamt of owning one but when I considered the practicalities it wasn't as idyllic as it seemed. What if you twist an ankle? You become housebound or stuck out of your house, I still admired the people who lived in the houses and the builders who must have had a tough task building them.
The highlight of the walk was when I spotted a path with a sign saying Mulgan's Track, something that I had missed on the way to Sumner. It was a path up through the near near vertical hill side that served as the only access to 7 or 8 beautiful hillside houses. The view from the top was awesome and I had a little moment with myself before setting off back down the hill.
The whole walk to Sumner and back began at 11 and finished at 6 so by my calculations that's about 20 miles. I was exhausted when I returned to the hostel so I tried to get an hours sleep, not helped by interruptions from my 2 new room-mates (both nobs), one English, one German who looked at me like I'd crawled through sewage when I told them about my walk.
I got up and had a pint in a shit sports bar then watched Jackass in the hostel lounge before going to bed at 11 for a much needed proper night of sleep.
Today I was up at 7 and raring to go, I took a trip to the supermarket to buy some cereal for breakfast and bread for lunch. I met a friendly Canadian who was drinking someone else's wine, we chatted away as I ate my Sugar puffs (I thought I was buying Crunchy Nut Corn Flakes but I like both anyway) (Why did I write that, that's not interesting, sorry) (the apology has made things worse, I should have left it or deleted all this drivel, oh well). We both agreed that a girl who came in to the kitchen stressed was a moron because there should be no reason for stress when you're travelling in New Zealand.
The Canadian finished off the bottle of wine and when his friend came in I learned that he was working today and would be driving there. Later, whilst shaving I learned that he also has no licence in any country but I liked him so I'll allow it.
On the dangerous driver's recommendation, and also because I had planned to go there anyway, I headed for the botanic gardens and Hagley park where I got lost (bliss) watched some cricket and read some signs about trees that were so uninteresting I should have removed them and replaced them with new ones like 'This one gets pretty big' or 'Probably one of these in lord of the rings'.
From the park once I had found my bearings again I went to the Christchurch Art Gallery - Number 6 in 30 things not to miss in New Zealand according to my Rough Guide. The building was impressive and inside was similar to many other art galleries I've visited: the pictures were either boring or I didn't understand them. It was crap but I felt a bit more cultured.
I like travelling.
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