Posted by: dammer145 | November 13, 2008

The Tranzalpine

Today we would take the Tranzalpine train from Christchurch to Greymouth (where we had been the week before) and back.

Ravines along the track.

We took a cab to Christchurch station and figured out which train we had to take. After a short wait we set off northwest, straight through the Southern Alps. First we sped through the lowland greens with sheep and cows, but before long the landscape became hillier, slowly turning mountainous. After about an hour we were in the Alps proper. The tracks took us through tunnels and over bridges, crossing rivers and ravines.

The train had a bar, so we went and bought ourselves a beer each, the same beer as we had drunk in Greymouth a week before: Monteith’s!

After a four-hour trip, we arrived in Greymouth. The train would stay there for about an hour before heading back to Christchurch. We sat close to the sea and had our lunch, carefully avoiding an annoying German guy that had taken a liking to us on the train.

On the way back we were in the same carriage as a bunch of Russians: the stories about Russians on holiday are true.

Once back in Christchurch we had some time to kill before dinner, so we had a long walk through the very Oxford-looking Hadley Park.

We had dinner in a place called “Cook’n with Gas”, a restaurant we had seen the day before while trailing around Christchurch in the tram. Luckily we had a reservation: the place was packed. We had a great last night out, great food and even Belgian beer on tap (we didn’t have any though, there’s enough of that back home).

We took a cab back to the camping, with a slightly apprehensive feeling – our time in New Zealand was quickly coming to an end.

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