Edit Blog Post
Published: November 15th 2010
I can’t let myself drown in melancholy (it's against my constitution). Like a wounded soldier, I soldiered on …Instead of catching the flight back to Australia, we decided to stay. I thought I can recuperate in NZ whilst still on holiday. With medication, the aches and pain from the accident are manageable. I feel 90%!f(MISSING)ine, well enough to do a little bit of sightseeing and exploring. I can even force a smile and think that it's all good.
New Zealand has promoted itself as the adventure capital of the world. I was really looking forward to hiking in the glaciers. But with my condition, glacier hikes, shotover jets and bungy jumping are off the menu (ok, definitely not the bungy … maybe if I’m crazy or suicidal and wants to know how it’s like to jump off the building without hitting the ground !). We just gonna have to stick to a more sedate form of R&R.
The sight of snow I love so much now terrifies me since the accident
. This has put a massive dent on our travel plans. We cancelled our planned trip to Milford Sound, Wanaka, Fox Glacier, Franz Josef Glacier, Greymouth
Pass. We avoided places inundated with snow at all cost. We headed off in the opposite direction towards Dunedin
. It’s a 6 hours drive to Dunedin. We took the inland scenic route. I can’t iterate enough how beautiful NZ landscape really is. The expanse of greenery with snowy mountains in the backdrop are very soothing and calming. It made me forget about all the aches and pain.
We booked a self-contained eco-friendly cottage in the heart of the city of Dunedin owned by a friendly English couple (John and Pam) who now call New Zealand home. John even gave us a Powerpoint presentation of the must-see places around the area (such as the Larnach Castle, The Octagon, Cathedrals, Otago Peninsula, historic buildings and Baldwin Street – the steepest street in the world etc … etc…). Even though I found the presentation interesting, I can’t really wait to have a rest and hit the sack after a very long drive from Invercargill
. Having only few hours of sleep at the hospital, I had my very first good night sleep at the cottage since we arrived in NZ.
The next morning, we went grocery shopping (with fully equipped kitchen, Jamie
was able to prepare home cooked meals). The afternoon was spent visiting cathedrals, museum and historic buildings such as Dunedin’s Historic Railway Station – the most photograph landmark in the country. Dunedin is also home to a number of well preserved Edwardian and Victorian buildings in the southern hemisphere. We visited the University of Otago – the first and oldest university in NZ. I must say I personally quite like the architecture.
Day two, I wasn't feeling that well. I must have over exerted myself exploring the city. Though this didn’t stop me from visiting the Larnach Castle – the only castle in NZ. After taking my pills, we headed off to Otago Peninsula to check out the castle and its world-reknown garden. The Larnach Castle has a very interesting and a rather tragic and scandalous history. The first wife of William Larnach (owner of the castle) suffered from a debilitating depression when their children moved to England to get educated. She suddenly died at the age of 38. William then married Mary, his sister-in-law (the first wife’s half-sister) out of convenience to help raise the children. Mary also died suddenly of brain-haemorrhage at the age of 38. The
Steepest street in the world
3rd wife Constance who’s at least 30 years his junior has been caught having an affair with one of his sons. William shot himself upon reading a letter. There's a speculation that the letter was about his wife Constance pregnant and the father might be his son. William's eldest son also shot himself after a failed marriage due to lack of career prospects. This just shows that life is all about building healthy and happy relationships
. You can try to live a fairytale life in a beautiful castle with all the money in the world but still doesn't guarantee you good life and real happiness.
I thought I was gonna throw up in the castle during the tour as I was sick the whole time. I felt really drowsy and nauseated. Maybe I should have caught the flight back home instead of being stubborn. I was glad to have my breathe of fresh air in the Larnach garden overlooking Otago Peninsula.
We went back to the cottage around lunchtime so I can have a rest. After a good nap, we went to the Cadbury World chocolate factory. The boys wanted to see how chocolates are made. Unfortunately, we
only got the “short” tour. It’s Sunday and they don’t make chocolates on weekends. We only got to see a video clip of "how they make chocolates" and a quick tour of the factory. They gave us a bag of goodies afterwards. Ryan and Liam enjoyed the “Chocolate Fish” ! One of the must-try in NZ. The other must-try in NZ are kiwi fruits
. They are round, brown and hairy on the outside with sweet and soury taste. I have been advised at the pharmacy to eat lots kiwi fruit
'cause my medications will make me constipate. She was right. So, I bought dozens of kiwi fruit and went on a kiwi fruit diet. But what really worked for me are good 'ol laxatives.
Day 3, we are ready to leave Dunedin and head towards Christchurch. It’s an 8 hours drive to Christchurch with a stopover to see the famous Moeraki boulders
- one of the popular tourist attractions in NZ. Moeraki boulders are grey-colored septarian concretions which have been eroded by the ocean waves. It's their large size and spherical shape that made them an interesting subject for scientific research.
We only intended to stay in Christchurch
overnight. Our plan is to drive to Picton
the next day to catch the inter-island ferry to the North Island. To be continued ...
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