NEW ZEALAND IV

9/4/2021  

The last city in Southern New Zealand is Invercargill, which is 15 miles north of the town of Bluff. This is the end of the road and a place to view the unforgiving Southern Ocean. Windy, cold, and a mere 1500 miles from the Antarctica coast, this is where you would go to fly a Kevlar Kite. The stunted trees grow up 1′ and then turn 90° horizontally inland. The farmland terrain abruptly stops, and so does the country. Time to turn around. Jake headed his car up the eastern coast and made for Dunedin, a community of 100,000 plus that resembles San Francisco as it steps down to a large, protected bay. With most rental cars in stick shift status, this town is hell on clutches. Sitting at a red light on what feels like an 88° angle, the game here is not to roll your car into the clown behind you that pulled right up to your rear bumper. Jake figured the locals liked to test your clutch starting skills, so he soon figured it was best to hold the engine at 3,000 rpm’s and slip the clutch for the duration of the traffic light. This town was built for billy goats, and it was soon in the rear-view mirror. Next on the list was 2 days in Christchurch and this was a welcome relief from sporadic encounters with small mountain ranges. Located in a huge flat plain and surrounded by farms, this city of 350,000 was a work of art in its layout, with a giant Hagley Park right off of downtown. More of an arboretum, this 150-year-old park is a jungle of exotic specimens that can tolerate the latitude and can easily compete with Central Park in New York. As a coastal city, its harbor is accessible by a bored tunnel thru a mountain range on a protected bay. After his fill of city life, Jake moved up the island, back towards Picton and his ferry ride to the North Island. Only 6 more days in this beautiful country, and then he was headed home. Turning in the rental car, he boarded the ferry with his duffle bag of possessions and looked back at 1 of the most gorgeous terrains on earth. 

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