…….The World Without Boundaries

Saying Good Bye to the South Island

Written By: jipp - Jul• 03•17

So, in my previous post, I wrote about how we traveled from Te Anau to Christchurch by going East before traversing along the coastal road to the South until night caught up with us in Oamaru.

Our hotel in Oamaru

So after spending a night in a quite expensive room in Oamaru, it was time to leave the historic city and return to Christchurch from where we would be flying back to Auckland to spend our last days in New Zealand before flying back to Malaysia. The journey was quite uneventful probably because we couldn’t wait to reach Christchurch. We had been traveling all over New Zealand for the past 2 weeks so I guess there’d be a time when you finally feel like coming home and Christchurch felt a step or two and Auckland was probably a few more steps closer to home.

Upon arriving in Christchurch we went to look for a guest house called Delamain Holiday House and B&B that we had pre-booked via online. It was quite near to the airport so that it would be convenient for us to go to the airport the next morning. It was located in one of the nicest and probably the quietest neighborhoods that I’ve ever been to.

Delamain neighborhood in Christchurch

I mean, I’ve been to quite a number of neighborhoods in other first world countries and they were mostly quite but this one in Christchurch was just so quite I did not see any person – not a single one – walking around in the neighborhood. I wonder if the residents there were hiding from something. The lawns were so well-trimmed and well-tended flowers placed at appropriate locations. Nobody was in the house when we got there so I had to call the landlady who then gave us the password to the guest house via phone.

I instantly liked the guesthouse. The room was quite small but the spacious living room that co-joined the kitchen made up for it. The bath room was quite spacious too and there was a big tub that could probably accommodate up to 3 persons at once. But then it was shared with other rooms so I don’t think it was possible to stay immersed in the tub without having somebody knocking on the door. Not that I had intended to anyway. LOL.

So after dumping our luggage at the house it was time to return the car back to the rental company. Out of so many things that I was worried about prior to the trip to New Zealand it was the things regarding the rental car that got me worried most. There were so many horror stories regarding rental cars that I had heard or read on the internet but all the worries were finally put to rest when we returned the car without a single problem.

The only problem that we encountered was when the car would not start after having it parked in Te Anau for four days while we went for the trekking. The handy man at the hostel that we stayed at helped us start it back to life in no time at all. Apart from that, there was no problem at all. I guess we underestimated the car when we first set our eyes on it. It looked quite old and overused and we were about to embark on a journey that would bring us some 2700km across New Zealand so we had every reason to be worried but then – everything went just fine in the end.

Returning the rental car at Jucy Rentals

After returning the car back to Jucy Rentals whose office was somewhere near to the airport too, we walked our way back to the guesthouse. It was such a relaxing walk. We walked past the Christchurch airport, then an equestrian field where I made eye contact with some of the most beautiful horses that I had ever seen.

I used my phone to navigate my way back to the guesthouse (my travel buddy half-ran his way and left me way behind). The landlady was already there waiting when we arrived. She was a Chinese, probably in her early 40s and he told me how she came to New Zealand with her parents when she was still a kid. She told me how it was very difficult for them in the beginning and that they had to work their asses off to get to where they are today.

I took the opportunity to ask her about the earthquake that almost ripped the whole of Christchurch apart back in 2011. “It was very difficult for us. Everybody was in shock because we never experienced something like that ever before. We were very much under-prepared”

“The epicenter was right under the city of Christchurch so you can imagine how strong it was. The devastation was so great that many of the people in Christchurch decided to move to somewhere else – mostly to Auckland”

“Even until today we are still afraid that it might happen again but then there’s nothing much we can do. We can only pray” she said in a bitter tone.

Unfortunately Christchurch has been quite prone to disasters. Even when we were there a big bush-fire was raging over Port Hills and a lot of people had been evacuated from the area. Apparently the news had made its way to my family and friends in Malaysia and I was getting messages from them – conveying their concerns. The fire was actually quite far from where we were so I had to tell them not to worry. It was funny (and sad) because we were up there at the Port Hills just the other day enjoying the view of Christchurch on one side and the Governors Bay on the other.

We had to wake up early the next morning because we had to pack up before heading out to the airport. The landlady was there to give us a lift (we paid NZD 20 for two which was quite a good deal) and I took the opportunity to thank for all the hospitality that we were served with while staying at her place – even though it was only one night.

Taking one last photo in front of Delamain Holiday House

We took a Jet Star flight back to Auckland. It was longer that I had anticipated for and it felt even longer when there was a kid who kept making faces to me almost all throughout the flight. Just earlier at the airport he tried to peek through under the door while I was in the toilet so I had to yell to make him stop.

Unfortunately he didn’t despite his daddy’s stern warnings. In fact his daddy could not even control his kid’s erratic behaviors when they were seated in the aircraft later. The boy pushed the crew button several times that the cabin crew who came to attend him almost lost her cool. The father himself looked quite ill, which I assumed was due to hangover although my friend did not quite agree, so much so that the cabin crew always did not let him fly. He had to keep assuring them that he was OK to fly.

Naughty boy

Another lady that was sitting next to me was super-excited when we told her that we were from Malaysia (although she could have acted the excitement out. New Zealanders are quite good at creating excitement which was not necessarily a bad thing depending on the situation).

“I would never forget her because she’s the one who taught me how to use chop sticks” she said with an all-out laugh. I couldn’t help but joining the laugh too. She told us how she had a good and steady job before but she was not happy. She then quit the job and opened a baking shop, which was what she had always wanted to do. “Well, just as how it is for other businesses, there are ups and downs but I’m happy with what I’m doing now. I feel more in control of my own destiny” she said as if knowing that I’ve been thinking of starting my own business for quite some time now.

It was raining when we landed in Auckland about one hour or so later.

  • Share on Tumblr

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

(Spamcheck Enabled)