At 8:45am, we arrived at Melbourne airport, which every pronounces Melbonne. I swear you could feel the heat already, as I was sweating in my pants and t-shirt. We took in a Crown Lager at one of the bars there, and got on Facebook and email and replied to friends and family. Here we experienced our first flight delay, though it was only for half an hour. We left Melbourne at 10:15am, and after an uneventful flight, got to Christchurch just before 3:50pm their time.
Here is where the fun started. There was a long line to get through customs when we arrived, which we got through with relative ease. But at baggage claim, only myself, Brendan and Nick’s bags had shown up. Liam’s was nowhere to be found. On top of that, the 3 bags with our skateboards were also gone. Airport FAIL!! So, we went to the baggage services and pleaded our case, and all we could do was leave them an address to send the stuff to. Lame. We finally got out of customs at about 5:00pm, long after we expected to be out. Waiting for us were John and Jean, and we split into pairs to take a car each back with them.
The drive back was stunning. It was weird having the driver on the right side of the vehicle, and driving on the left side of the road, but it was a cool culture shock. Right outside of CC looked like England, but about half an hour into the drive, we hit the mountains.
The next day we took in some short Hokitika hikes, which Nick’s mom took us on. We went down to the ocean, to a lake, and to a lookout over looking Hokitika River. Beautiful. After we saw this, we decided to chill and have a brew or two. Nick thought it would be a good idea to chase the sheep they have here at the house… naked. It was frickin’ hilarious, and many pictures were taken. We also decided we were going to check out some pubs in Hokitika for the night. We drank a few beers and watched American Idol (it was the shitty people, so it was funny) and then we went off the to bar.
The next morning the four of us jumped in the car and headed to Hokitika Gorge. Just before this, we checked out our sunburns, and I think Nick won for worst burn. For this journey, I was sure to wear my Hulk underwear, so they could make their first appearance. The gorge was beautiful, and I couldn’t believe how blue the water was. I took some pictures and video, then took off my shirt and shorts and went onto a rock for the first Hulk photoshoot. It was glorious. Nick’s mom also took pictures of us mooning her from the lookout. Our next stop was the Blue Spur trail. This trail took us through an old mine, complete with old mine shafts and all the fixings of a mine. We checked out some of the tunnels, but most of them had been caved in so no one else could go in them. On the way out we met some nice older people who were planning on taking the tunnel, and they suggested some places up North for us to head to. We’ll be hiking Mt. Brown in the next couple days, so we’ll see how my body handles that.