Back in Christchurch

On the same morning that Helen & John flew home to Brisbane, I flew to Christchurch. The purpose of the trip? It was to simply check out my property there, and collect rent! The original owner is still staying there, and is definitely way behind rent! Seems like an expensive way to get my rent, but I wanted to check the place out anyway, given I haven’t even seen it since I bought it 3 months ago.

I arrived there about 2:30pm NZ time. Picked up my rented car, which happens to be a Mitsubishi Colt. This is definitely a very very nice car. Looking at some research, it won heaps of awards, and I can see why. To start, it boasts automatic windows & electric mirror! The type that I’ve seen on Merc! It has automatic headlights (which was cool.. it turns itself on when light goes dark), and 4 cup holders! What was surprising is it has CVT (Constant *something* transmission??). The whole trip was done with NZ$55 of fuel covering 800kms. The handling was definitely very good! Everything about it wowed me! Would be the best $20k anyone can spend on a car.

Anyway.. back to the trip.. I soon settled in at Amross Motel, which I just stumbled across on Bealey Avenue. It was $85/night for a studio. So I settled in, and quickly went to the information centre in the city. Picked up a few brochures on Hamner Springs & kayaking at Kaikoura. Later on that evening, I managed to get hold of the renter’s brother and paid my place at Stanmore Road a visit. The place is definitely a dump on the inside. I am not even sure if I’ll be able to rent this out! At the back, there was a little gutter leaking water. I suspect there’s a pipe leaking somewhere, and I’ll need to get a plumber to fix that. Disappointed, I went off and decided to go to Brighton beach for a visit. I can see why Christchurch is not famous for its beaches. The sand look so ‘dull’. But I did enjoy the long pier, and this artist that ‘paints’ on sand.

Anyway.. next day is Sunday, and as expected, I went to Hamner Springs. In my mind it’s a place for old people who wants to relax in hot pools. And long & behold, that’s exactly true! The place was high up on a mountain, and had 8 pools. The hottest one was 41 degrees, and honestly I don’t feel this is hot enough. It was also a sulphur pool, so it definitely smelt like fart! I was there for about 1.5 hours, and that’s all I could take. All for $10..

After a bit of uhming & arring.. I was deciding between quad-biking, or go to Kaikoura for kayaking. As I’ve recently quad-biked already, I decided to drive another 2 hours to Kaikoura for kayaking, since I haven’t tried that. The trip was pleasant, with the help of driving a superb car. When I got there, I discovered I booked the last spot available for the 4:30pm tour! *Phew!! Would have been a wasted 2 hour trip if it was full!

Kaikoura is actually a sea-side place, so it definitely was ‘prettier’ than Hamner Spring. I managed to drive up to the highest point to have a panaromic view of the town & the vast mountain ranges in the distance.

Soon.. the kayak guides arrived, and we were off to our departure point. The water was very nice & calm. Most of the people there were from overseas (Canada & Germany). The guide ran us through the basics, and we soon started paddling. I was paired together with this lady from Germany. It’s a $65 tour, and was suppose to last 3 hours. We started heading out, and was expecting to see some seals. After about half an hour of paddling, we did managed to see one! Anyway.. we were soon surprised by a whale watch boat, who hurriedly inform us of big winds coming our way. The instructor looked nervous, but decided we will keep going and see how we go. Soon, we could see white breaks far far away. The instructor noticed it, and said we had 20 minutes to start heading back. We did managed to see some more seals, but it wasn’t that special, since I’ve seen a lot more in 2 other tours earlier last year. I’m sure most of us was thinking about how to paddle back fast before the waves hit us! For some reason, me & the German girl were just plain slow. We were the 2nd last kayak. Slowly, we can start feeling the waves. It started small, which then gets bigger .. and bigger.. and then VERY BIG! The instructor was definitely more nervous than we are. He even called up a coast guard to send out a boat! He then tried throwing us a string to try to tow us! Fortunately, we made it back without any issues. Looking back at the ocean, the waves were definitely big! I’m surprised we didn’t capsize at all!

Later on that evening, I managed to grab a bit of fish and chips for $3.95. They’re everywhere and cheap! The drive back to Christchurch was not too bad, and managed to get back just before sunsets (about 9:30pm).

Next day, it was back to business, with visits to a few real estate agents. This was followed by a visit to renter’s mum’s house to collect rent. She gave me $500 instead of $1000 Raj promised. Not impressed.

Anyway, I managed to make the most of the afternoon by visiting Sumner Bay, Lytelton Harbour & a bit of shopping at The Palms & Northside shopping.

All in all, it was a good trip. I just realised Christchurch is so small that they don’t even have trains! But nevertheless.. i’ll be back here again for Queenstown!

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