I arrived at Christchurch – my last destination in New Zealand. The first impression of this city is not really good. Lots of construction and – weirdly – lots of ruins. Ruins of tall buildings. It really looked a bit trashy and run down in some parts.
It all makes sense when you know that Christchurch gets hit by earthquakes quite a lot. A big one in 2011 destroyed big parts of the city and ever since they are busy building it back up. Successfully, as I think. They have a mall only consisting of colorful containers. Looks pretty hip and there are also a good selection of food trucks.
My last day I spent power hiking up Mount Herbert, 910 meters high. Reached the summit after 7.4 km in just over 2 hours and went straight back down – the winds were way too strong… After that I went to the doctor, got more antibiotics that will “kill” everything (yay) and went to my cubical hostel, the Jucy Snooze near the airport. I’m not a fan of Jucy (New Zealand car rental and more) but that hostel was pretty ace.
Now I am sitting at the airport, waiting for my flight to French Polynesia. I’m not sad to be leaving. I had high expectations in New Zealand. All my life I wanted to go and thought it must be the prettiest country in the world. Probably because the do know how to advertise New Zealand Tourism and are able to sell you every single rock. Even though it’s still a beautiful country, it’s nowhere near as special as they make you believe it is. The weather is unstable. It rains on more then 250 days a year on the east coast. It is full of people (OK, I did go in January, but still). The Scandinavian countries are as pretty but it feels more natural there, more real. Not over represented. Not crowded at all. They don’t tell you what to do at certain places. In New Zealand you HAVE to go kayaking at Abel Tasman, you HAVE to do a heli-hike at the glaciers, you HAVE to do one of the big hikes and pay for the shuttles, because you can barely find any loop tracks. Otherwise you feel like you would miss out. And I am not the only one who shares this opinion.
Anyway, sorry New Zealanders – enough bitching. It’s is still a nice place, especially when the sun decides to actually come out. But still, I am ready for South America 🙂