From Air to Sea!

Day 10 started off with a trip to Jens Hansen‘s store to see The One Ring.  And what a ring!  I will not say much except that I felt the power flowing through me as I held each and every one of the rings in my hand that day.

While we were all getting our shopping done early, we found out that it was too windy on the mountain so we weren’t going to be able to go on a helicopter tour to see the ‘South of Rivendell’ site.  How disappointing!  But safety first.  The last thing I need is to crash on the site.  So we ended up with a leisurely morning to get in a little more shopping.  While I wandered around looking for free wi-fi, and cheap lunch, I happened upon Cruellas, a yarn store!  I went in to admire the wool and came out with a pattern book for more toys.  I am going to be so busy when I get home.  After lunch, it was time for our next adventure:  Blenheim, for our kayaking trip with Pelorus Eco Adventures.  Basically we kayaked down the same river where the ‘Dwarves in Barrels’ scenes were shot.  This was such a treat.  I loved it.  The water was so clear and cool and refreshing.  The inflatable kayaks were so stable, so very different from the kayaks that I was using in my classes back home.  It was more like canoeing than kayaking, especially when he handed me a canoeing paddle.  But it was still fun.  It would’ve been even better if it was a lot longer.  But apparently this is the first time that Red Carpet Tours has done this optional activity!  Well done.  I love this optional activity!  The guide from Pelorus Eco Adventures was telling us about when Peter Jackson was filming here, the weather changed so quickly that they were ordered to leave the site within 5 minutes.  They had to get all the camera gear out of there asap.  And having been down on the site, I can’t imagine how they could’ve gotten all their stuff out in 5 minutes.  Luckily they listened because the river flooded all the way up and over the bridge.  They said it was a freak thing.  Take a look at the picture of the bridge.  Look at the water level on this day and how much water would bring it up to to over the bridge.  That’s super crazy stuff!  Just as a side note, these photos were taken by our driver, Wayne.  Thanks Wayne!  These are great photos!

After our river adventure, it was time to check in to our next hotel, The Scenic Hotel in Blenheim.  It was a nice hotel.  It’s a shame the elevator was out of order the next morning when we had to check out, and we were all on the second floor but it just adds spice to our adventure.

Now this brings us to Day 11 which was mainly a travelling day.  Our final destination was Christchurch, but along the way, we had some photo stops with some seals!  We took the scenic route along the coast.  It was beautiful.  Eventually we left the coast and headed inland towards Christchurch.  We are in the Sudima Hotel right by the airport.  Unfortunately, the damage done by the earthquakes has made it difficult for coaches to get around so we stayed just on the outskirts of Christchurch.  Not a problem for me, since I’ll be coming back this way later on and I’ll be staying in town so I’ll still get to see the city, damage and all.  Tomorrow we climb Edoras!  I can’t wait!

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