hello kiwis!

single cone summit (2300m)

So it turns that Kiwi immigration laws aren’t so conducive to a devil-may-care attitude to travel.

During my checkin attempt at MEL, the ticket agent asked for my return flight information. My response of “Um, I only bought a one-way ticket because I don’t know when and where I plan on flying out of” resulted in the forced purchase of a return ticket at the counter. Whoopsie.

And it turns out when the border official at CHC asks you, “what are your plans for the next three weeks?”, that is not the proper time nor place to impart your romantic notions of wanderlust upon said official. Trust me, leading off with “I’m not really sure yet” and a charming smile… well, my smile must not be as dazzling as I’d thought, and only results in alarm and concern in exactly the one person on the planet at the moment who you are trying very hard not to alarm. My bad, New Zealand.

In the end, they let me in anyhow, so +1 Alex. Whoo.

Alas, the struggle to travel unencumbered and carefree is foregone. In what is becoming a disturbing trend in my holiday travels, I’ve hired a car with which to zoom around the island.

Yes, someone is going to give a 1000 kilo metallic missile to the guy who was complaining about not even being able to figure out how to walk properly in this country. Good thing New Zealand doesn’t read my blog.

My time in Christchurch was short but idyllic, having spent it with my hostel roommates, an unlikely combination of two French, two Germans, and YT, yammering away in the international language of globe-ish, wandering around the city generally enjoying life, and wrapping it up at an even unlikelier Chinese restaurant called “Luck” where the owners were from Taiwan, and I was able to manage enough Chinese to order a fantastic meal that included delish veggies from their own garden. Not too shabby.

The small bitey beastie population of Christchurch seem to have a penchant for eating Chinese too and have discovered a new favorite hangout, namely me.

Now I turn my face south and aim towards Queenstown to meet up with some old climbing friends I met on the slopes of the Peruvian Andes so many years ago. After that, who knows, so please don’t tell the New Zealand Department of Immigrations.