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Published: March 26th 2006
Today I'm in Murchison on the S. Island. Its the kayaking center for the South Island. Unfortunately there isn't any water. Yesterday I did a very low water run of the Earthquake section of the Buller River. Like everywhere else in the world, the kayakers are hoping for rain.
Alot happened in my last week on the N. Island, but I'm going to share that later. I want to wait until I can upload some pics with it, because... well I don't know I just want to.
But I thought I would talk a bit about driving in N. Zealand. I've found its not so hard to drive on the left side of the road. Every now and again.. not so much anymore, I'll find myself on the wrong side of the road. Usually on a one way road. For the first few days on narrow country roads, I would panic every time I saw a car coming the other way, trying to remember if I was on the right side of the road.
The thing I screw up most of the time these days is getting in the pasenger side (right side) instead of the drivers side on the left. Also when looking in the rear view mirror I tend to look up to my right first, but there isn't a mirror there.
The roundabouts are getting easier also. Just have to remember to look right and give way to people from the right. Which brings up the most interesting/strange thing about NZ driving. If I'm turning right, across traffic and the oncoming traffic is turning left (our right hand turn) then I have the right away to cross oncoming traffic and they have to yield. I still don't have this one mastered. It makes sense to me as its consistant with the whole round about, give way to traffic from your right, but still strange.
What is really funny is I remember being whipped after my 322km journey to Wellington. This made no sense to me, because I'm used to driving 900Km from ATL to Cincy after work in an evening.. not fun, but not the end of the world. But I think its the roads. The National speedlimit is 100Km/h. Not bad... though my van doesn't always do that. They only have freeways in the cities. But more interesting is that you could be driving down the side of a hill at 100Km/h on a 2 lane road and suddenly there is a warning sign about a curve at 35Km/h.
And then speed back up to 100, if you can. The van climbs like shit, but no big deal.
The other really cool thing, is 1 lane bridges... yes on the national roads as well. One direction has to yield to another direction. Its depicted by a sign. The one lane bridge sign is a round sign with a short red arrow pointed down on the right and a longer black arrow pointed up on the left of the red arrow. This means that you have the right of way on the bridge. If the arrows are reversed, red and down on the left, up and black on the right, then you have to yield.
But its not so bad, I haven't come close to any wrecks yet...keep your fingers crossed.
Well unless it rains I'm headed to the west coast tomorrow. Not sure when I'll write again.. we'll just have to see.
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