Friday, April 27, 2007
Hanmer Hanmer Hanmer Hanmer Springs
Welcome back kids!
So, we left Dunedin and headed to Christchurch for one night before we headed out to this place called Hanmer Springs (whatever you think it isn't Hammer Springs which would be way cooler). There, there are natural springs that are heated deep down within the earths core and they appear for us to enjoy on the lush soil that is New Zealand. Well, sort of.
Our brief stay in Christchurch felt like coming back home. We actually got excited when we say the sign "welcome to Christchurch". Right when we got off the bus, we knew where to go and that was nice for a change. The next day was a holiday so we knew to go shopping for groceries before so we would be set for the next day of travel. Turns out the holiday is a big one for New Zealand and Australia. It is called Anzac Day and it is to remember the many NZ and AU soldiers lost in the war. NZ and AU teamed up and became one large military, it was after that when they were slaughtered in a battle that is skipping my mind. Anyway, the "parade" started at 6:30am and finishes at around 8. Our room in the hostel was very close so we woke up to a military band playing some very nice music. It was almost calming hearing the trumpet played under a heavy fog, we headed down to see the ceremony an it was very moving and powerful.
We rallied that same morning after waking up at 6:30 and ate breakfast and caught our shuttle to Hanmer Springs. It was the best shuttle ever, nice leather interior, fully reclining seats AND it didn't smell! We arrived and saw the "springs" and our hearts sunk. It felt and looked much like a community pool, and it cost $12 bones each to just get in, plus $4 for a towel. Kind of a lot we thought just to go sit in some spring that cost them nothing to heat. Either way, we were there and we decided to make the most of it. We had rented a house for $90 and were excited to have our own space, it had a fireplace, stove, dvd player the works! It was a cute cottage just a short 1/2 mile hill from where we were dropped off (that was an adventure in itself carrying two packs each plus two arms of grocery bags). The two days we were there all we did was relax, played cards, drank wine, sat by the fire (made by a man!), watched movies and yes, eventually went to the springs.
The day we went to the springs was perfect, cloudy yet ready to rain and not as many people as the previous day. We stayed in the pools for 5 hours straight and looked like raisins by the time we got out...it was exactly what we needed... a vacation from our vacation (let the hating begin!).
Posted by Matt Spangler at 10:59 PM