Thursday, 28 October 2010

Cloudy Day

Friday 29th October 2010

MP3 track of the day: Storm is coming - Lord of the Rings

Weather: Very cloudy, cold but dry in the morning. The cloud starting to break in the afternoon with the sun beaming down, but not by much.

I woke up unusually early and couldn't get back to sleep. I was ready by about 9am to go out and look at, well, something. The weather was seriously overcast making photos a waste of time, however I decided that a nice leisurely walk up Mount John might be fun.

Mount John is recognized to be one of the worlds best places to observe the stars and the weather (not today pal it isn't); this is due to the lack of light pollution around Lake Tekapo (because there aren't any major urban areas for miles). Up on the top of Mount John the Canterbury University has it's own observatory, along with the United States and another country that I can't remember the name of, though I do know that all of the equipment was made in Japan … so maybe the other country is Japan.

I took a few photos to say that I had been up Mount John, but nothing major due to the cloud cover. I took the longer footpath back to town, which was very pleasant. Firstly the route took you gradually downhill, away from the town of Lake Tekapo and towards the central part of the lake. Finally it backed on itself but continued to decline in height until the track was along the lake side heading for town. Along the way I met quite a few sheep who just stared at me and then ran away (so much beauty can be hard to handle sometimes).

I got back to Lake Tekapo and did what I said I would do yesterday, I went into town and took up one of the many 'lunch meal' offers. I decided to go for a Chinese; I went into the restaurant which was nice, pretty empty apart from two big groups of Chinese people … well if they are eating here then it must be good. I purchased a box of beef with vegetables in a black bean sauce and headed back to the hostel. The meal was lovely, but the best bit was all the different vegetables; sweetcorn, celery, broccoli, onion and carrot (there was mushroom and cauliflower too but I dug those out). Now I haven't had vegetables in ages and it was lovely to just have a bowl full along with some meat.

It was now early afternoon and clouds were starting to break in the sky, but still not enough to make it worth going back to the church; I therefore lazed about at the hostel for a bit, hoping the weather would continue to clear, whilst I did some jobs on my computer.

Five hours later and shutdown. I had been inside far too long; during this time I had continued to complete what I said I did yesterday. Yesterday I found directions to my Tokyo hostel, but also found that my hostel was off the map in my guidebook (Useful that). Today I found my Sydney hostel on my guidebook map, but I couldn't get any direction from the airport to the hostel on the internet (every website said the same thing; if you stay three nights you can get a shuttle from the airport on the house ... well I'm only staying or two, what do I do?). I changed my hostel in Singapore; concerned about turning up, at 2am, in Singapore with my hostel door closed and no where to go, I opted for a small dorm (as I couldn't get any single rooms) nearer the city centre with a 24hr hostel reception. I sent the new hostel an email to say when I shall be arriving (and they have already replied to say that's fine); I also emailed a cancellation to the other hostel and herd nothing back ... they better not bill me for a night there.

Finally I checked the currencies for the next thee countries I shall be visiting compared to the pound. All is good apart from my Japanese guidebook states that I should need £80.00 per day to live on and that, at the time of writing, the Yuan was 250 to the pound. Currently it's only 128 yuan to the pound ... surely Japan can't cost over £100 per day ... can it, we shall soon see.

My final act was to let Mr Gates upload sixteen (yes count them 16) updates onto my computer which, a) took forever and b) one failed ... what a shocker, I'm never going to be rid of this yellow balloon in the bottom right hand corner of my computer.

At 5:45pm I headed out; whilst on my computer I had been, perodically, looking out my window and checking the skies to see if the clouds were breaking. They were, but not by a lot. Still I needed to go for a walk and so I took myself, and my camera, back to the 'Church of the good Shepard' and took some more photos. Overall I think the photos are slightly better than yesterday, but not by much. However I did find a beautiful location where I took a few photos of the church; the only annoying thing was that other tourist kept getting in the way of my shot. My patience wore thin and so, with a little photoshopping when I get home, the photo should be pretty damn good.

As I had a cooked lunch today, tonight I had cheese sandwiches with crisps (yum) before I packed for leaving tomorrow. I leave for Christchurch at 12:30pm; this does leave me the morning so, depending on cloud cover, I may go back to the church again.

I've been in New Zealand four weeks now (where did that go?) and my average has gone up again to £37.70 per day. It's still below what I was planning to spend but it doesn't include my coach journey tomorrow, or my flight in a weeks time. I will have to watch the pennies (errr cents) but I'm now moving back into the cities where I've already noticed that my hostel costs have reduced drastically (here it's $30 a night, in Christchurch it's $22). An update on my health, my hand is no longer swollen so everything is normal there now.

Toodle Pip!

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