We were on our way to Dunedin when we stopped at a cafe to grab a bite to eat. Casually and in the most nonchalant manner, the man who brought over our coffees said, “Did you hear that Christchurch had another earthquake?” As we were making our way to Christchurch – we gave him a look of shock and set out to find as much information as we could (free WiFi plus laptops made this task rather easy).
Turns out the quake was major and had happened just an hour before we heard the news. We did what we needed to do – texted/called our families to let them know we hadn’t yet made it into Christchurch and then broadcasted our whereabouts on Facebook to let everyone else know we were okay. We continued to make our way to Dunedin not know what would happen next or when we’d be presented with some sort of game plan. The only thing of certainty was that we had some strange days ahead of us as we tried to get a hold of all those travelling ahead of us to see where they were and if they were safe (mobile phone reception on the South Island made this a rather difficult task). The mood had changed like the change of seasons where you quickly go from a beautiful summer’s day to the crisp bite of autumn overnight.
Categories: NEW ZEALAND, nz: dunedin
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The day started off at 4:30am…it was dark and still pouring outside. So I did all that I could do – hauled all my crap in the middle of the night to the bus and found a seat as quickly as possible so I could go back to sleep. Ahhh, sleep…how I’ve missed you! Before I knew it, we were at the ferry terminal and needed to get a move on as we were running late.
In only an hour – I was on Stewart Island. The rain hadn’t let up – it had just gotten worse. So much for thinking that the weather was going to clear up so we could get the most out of being on the island. The main reason I wanted to go to Stewart Island was to chill out at the beach and possibly kayak a little if I got bored with doing nothing much. The rain made sure that wasn’t going to happen and so I quickly needed to whip out Plan B. What the hell was Plan B! After much forced consultation with the folks at the Red Shed, we decided it was best to rent a car and get out for short little walking bits (hardly any of the island has paved roads so there really was no choice in the matter).
The four of us with the Rat
Luckily, we got one of the last cars available and it was called the Rat. It was tiny but as soon as we hit the little windy roads, it all made sense. As it continued to pour down in buckets, our fearless driver navigated the Rat on tight roads and got us as close as possible to the desired destinations. The rain never let up that day and now it eerily seems like the clouds bursting in the manner they were was just foreshadowing for the days to come. But on that particular day on Stewart Island it meant nothing to us other than the weather gods were out to get us. We may have been cold and miserable and possibly look like 4 people who decided to take a shower with their clothes on but thankful that we got our hands on the Rat and had a chance to explore the island as much as we could that day.
Categories: NEW ZEALAND, nz: stewart island
Tags: Backpack, Canada, canadian, canadians in new zealand, canadians working abroad, canadians working in new zealand, canadians working overseas, change of life, IEP, live and work in new zealand, new zealand, NewZealand, Oban, Oceania, South Island, Southland, Stewart Island, Stewart Island / Rakiura, Stray, SWAP, travel, Travel and Tourism, travel blog, Whale, working overseas