Early Train to Picton

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Oceania » New Zealand » South Island » Picton
July 27th 2010
Published: July 28th 2010
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Early TrainEarly TrainEarly Train

In the back car there is wide window. Unfortunately the inner lights reflect passengers onto screen. Ghostly, eh?
Got the seven a.m. Coastal train to Picton this morning. I didn't get much sleep, paranoid that the borrowed alarm clock would not ring....it didn't. Luckily I was up at five getting breakfast and packing away last few things. At 6:15 I was outside waiting for free shuttle to take me to the train station which is strangely out of Christchurch city. If you visit here, the shuttle to the station is free and there is a $5 fee to come into town.
It was dark when the train took off. Dawn was lovely. The flat land of Christchurch and Canterbury county disappeared into hills much like England. The train stopped several times to get 'warrent' so it could progress. The conducter said they did not have automatic switches on this track so they have to do things manually and by phone. Its o.k. as a tourist but I wouldn't want to take this train often.
When we got to the coastline...WOW...such beautiful views. This time I tied my hair back from the wind, zipped up the winter jacket and took lots of photos in relative warmth. There were chocolate brown seals on the rocks and it was tricky trying

I didn't expect the scenery to be so beautiful.
to get pictures where you can actually see them. Once I saw a large seal right on the side of the road. I hope the cars never hit these curious creatures. Most were sleeping on the rocks.
The beach was to the right of the train, and the snowcovered mountains were on the left. I think I took photos of the coast this time. Sometimes the road was beside the train, other times were were in areas that you cannot see unless on this train or in a boat.
The 5 hour train journey was refreshing once I moved to the observation car and breathed in the salt air. Admittedly, I was tired of travelling. Its wonderful, but I need a break. I'm staying 4 days in Picton so I can sleep in, cook meals, walk in the woods, stop organizing the next jump. I haven't had time to describe much of what I am doing, beside the photo review of some of the day. I spent two nights in a vineyard, having meals and wine with people with doctorates in wine making. Great conversations. Who knew there is university research about perceptions and senses of wine? and you have

Don't forget the mountains on the other side of the train
to travel to France regularly to do this research.
Tomorrow I am going on a wine tasting tour because I am in Marlborough, the largest wine producing area in New Zealand. I've been trying to avoid lots of the touristy things, but I think its time to indulge.

Additional photos below
Photos: 18, Displayed: 18


Bridge for carsBridge for cars
Bridge for cars

See! I told you these braided rivers are huge.
Open CarriageOpen Carriage
Open Carriage

Windy, but best place to take photographs.

I wonder if my ornamental grass will get as tall and lovely as these?

Train tracks followed the beach

There were chocolate-coloured seals on the rocks. Some were at edge of grass but I missed them.

Sometimes the road was to our right, others to our left.
Hairpin TurnsHairpin Turns
Hairpin Turns

Another 25 km hairpin turn in the road. I am so glad I am sitting on this train.

I don't think the pictures capture how beautiful the mountains were in the sunlight

The sand is dark grey

There must have been forty tunnels along the way.

Tot: 2.846s; Tpl: 0.068s; cc: 12; qc: 28; dbt: 0.0299s; 2; m:saturn w:www (; sld: 4; ; mem: 1.3mb