View from the Train



It’s official. I got Ray on a train. It was touch and go…but he did it!!

 
And as you can see, shooting photos didn’t work so well. Too much glare. However, it did make for an interesting picture in this case. Ray, vineyards, mounts, clouds. C’est bon.

The trip was 5 1/2 hours straight south. Most of it hugged the Pacific coast which is on the east coast of NZ.
So, here’s a shot…most had more glare but you get the idea. We are right on the beach. And then as we proceeded further south, you could view the coast on one side and this on the other.

 
Yep. Snow capped Southern Alps. It was extraordinary. This picture came out because I was standing outside. What? Yes.
The train had an open car where you could go to freeze and get totally wind blown. This was helpful, say, if you had a glass of wine to accompany the cheese and crackers and fruit…and then you felt a bit sleepy. It would wake you right up!!
Here’s Ray by the open car before leaving Picton for Christchurch.

And, as you might have noticed, we did have sun so the it made the trip all the more special. You do know that there is a reason for all that green grass.

 

Two pictures. One looking back, one forward. Miles and miles and miles of this beauty. With no development. NZ is sparsely populated. And my apologies for that cable in the bottom photo. I don’t know what it is. There were no phone lines. Maybe a crack in the window?
Finally, a picture of the surf and the snow. Enjoy.

As we approached Christchurch, we saw evidence of the earthquake. However, it wasn’t until we checked in that the true enormity of the devastation became evident. The entire downtown has been fenced off. The lady at the front desk showed us on the map. We plan to investigate this today.

We met some people from Minnesota and sat near them on the train. They may book the same cruise of Doubtful Sound as us since their travel plans include the same itinerary as ours. Or…it might be doubtful because they only had one night’s lodging arranged in Christchurch (we have 2) and every hotel/motel we passed had ‘no vacancy’ signs lit. The earthquake rendered so many downtown places useless…that it is hard to get a booking here. We are lucky to have ours. Blind luck, but, luck nonetheless.

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