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Saturday, October 02, 2010

Watching the Seminoles on the Streets of Downtown Graymouth - New Zealand

Watching the FSU Seminoles in the back seat in Graymouth - New Zealand.

We found free internet as the fog lifted in Graymouth

Glacier fed lake while crossing the alps in New Zealand. Up one side and down the other

It is Sunday morning at 9 AM - and we are on the main street in downtown Graymouth - New Zealand - watching the Seminole football game on our ipad in the back seat of our Subaru 4x4. In New Zealand - they are pretty stingy with their wifi internet. Hotels charge by the megabyte used - it can run to over $30 in a night. So when we find a nice strong free signal - we pounce on it.

Last night while out to supper - we stumbled across this free signal - so we came back this morning to watch the game. It is a nice strong signal - so we are watching the game while both Lulu and I are on the internet with our macbooks. We can answer email - and read the newspaper - just like back home while we watch the game. Every now and then we can send each other an email.

Yesterday - we drove from Christchurch on the east coast to Graymouth on the west coast. Christchurch is about the size of Hazleton while Graymouth is more Tamaqua sized. North of Graymouth is the old coal region of New Zealand. They used to sell soft coal overseas - but the market died out for it - sound familiar?

99% of the roads here are two line. Because of such sparse traffic - and an effort to save money - the bridges are one lane - one very narrow lane. In some cases - you share that very narrow bridge with train tracks - that is - you ride right on top of the rails.

The scenery over the alps is breathtaking. Glaciers - steep sided valleys - streams of melt water - full of carried rocks and boulders. You seldom see other cars - and three cars in row is a traffic jam.

Gasoline is about $8 a gallon - so most people drive small cars with standard transmissions. I am doing a little better with driving on the other side of the road. It is fine on highways when you just stay in your lane. At intersections - you are always overthinking it - they have lots of traffic circles which are not bad. Since I am blind in my left eye - I find that I have much better vision sitting in the right side - especially yielding the right of way to people on my right. The left side is Lulu's responsibility :-)

We will spend tonight up in the alps crossing back over to the east - maybe at a place with hot pools at Hanmer Springs. Then Monday night - back at Christchurch - Tuesday night in Sydney Australia - and finally that marathon flight home.

Typical one lane bridge crossing the alps

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