Another typical NZ house
(Jan) Both had a really good, long night's sleep. Left Irene and the Swaggers about 10am (she likes to talk alot) to walk down to the main road in town to hitch a lift. Felt very strange at first but got picked up after half hour. Were surprised how many people bothered to acknowledge us. The lady who picked us up was a very friendly American lady who'd lived in NZ since 1968. She was very easy company but as we neared Pareora where she dropped us off (1 hour later), it came out that she'd had a very 'colourful' life - living in a converted bus, married, divorced, 5 childre, abusive (to her children) partner, 4 grandchildren - one undisciplined, one daughter with severe depression, one lesbian, one in a disastorous relationship and so on, and so on ...... She didn't make a big deal of it or sensationalise it and was very pleasant.
Christchurch again. Purpose built hostel this time
She's a school bus driver on income support.
She dropped us at a transport caff where we went in for coffee and mountains of toast with loads of spreads but not another soul.
Our next lift came in about 10 minutes and was in the form of a little 2 door jeep. We didn't think she'd fit us in with our bags as she had alot of stuff but we managed.
Penny? is a nurse but recently took a coffee making course! She's now a barista; she wasn't sure it was the right decision. She was roughly 50-ish with 3 late teen/twenties children and had just been to Dunedin
to see one of them. She'd picked us up as we looked 'maturer' :S
it was a very pleasant 2 hour journey in her company and all in all, we've gained alot further insight into NZ today. Basically, it has very similar problems to UK and in a few ways, is further on in it's approaches but in more, is alot further behind. There would certainly be alot of scope for both of us to come and make our mark here if we so wished. Penny dropped us right at the door of the backpackers and refused payment saying she'd enjoyed the company. Very kind.
(Rob) After such a stimulating day, we collapsed into comfy armchairs in the tent come lounge and watched Shawshank Redemption with other backpackers. Bit violent in parts but entertaining.