Saturday, 7 December 2013

The Happiest Lodging with Housemates

Instead of staying in a backpacker hostel, I had an opportunity to stay in a nice rented house with lovely housemates while in Ashburton. All of us are coworkers. Although the job we involved was somewhat tedious, we enjoyed the moment back to home after work.

The lovely house we stayed

Backyard of the house

We used to cook dinner together, shared each other's meals, had talks and laughter over dinner. Perhaps it’s due to the condition that staying in the town where entertainments are limited, we’re more cherished the moment hung around in the house together, even just for movie watching or cooking. We also often had some parties at home. I tried many delicious food cooked by my housemates. Again, I was lucky because I stayed with great chefs. Meanwhile, I was so shamed for my inability to cook as great as them   : l

Although Ashburton is not a resort town and don't seem interesting to most of the travellers or backpackers, it's truly a lovely place for me to stay the longest in New Zealand, unbelievable! I believe this is largely due to the atmosphere of the house and people I stayed with.
In conclusion, I had an enjoyable moment staying in Ashburton, owing to them.

Monday, 4 November 2013

French Fries, Green Peas and Many More...

During winter in Ashburton, I worked in a frozen food factory. The gigantic factory as if an empire, built on a large piece of land and it operated 24/7 by workers on shifts. I worked on morning shift started 6am until 6pm, total 12 hours of work in a day for 6 days a week.

Among all types of frozen foods included green peas, corns, mixed beans and ice creams, I primarily worked for the category of French fries. I was required to pack, grade or clean the waste potatoes and French fries. Unsurprisingly, I used to see ample of potatoes and French fries almost every day. Sometimes, I was too boring looking at them.
The quality of the potatoes were neccesary to be controlled at initial stage

Frozen French fries in process were sent by the belt

The gadget distributed all the frozen French fries into same amount before packaging

Frozen French fries being graded on the belt

Frozen green peas being graded on the belt

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Scouting Jobs in Christchurch and Ashburton in Winter

After the traveling for 11 days, my friend Yen and I stayed in Christchurch for a week and we attempted to find some casual jobs. We wanted to stay and work in Christchurch, both of us didn't get any offer except the work from mussel factory though. Urrrh...we couldn't endure the sting smell, so we only tried one day and called an end. During the period, we also helped in hostels in exchange for accommodation. However, we didn't like cleaning works so much, so we looked for other changes.

Before long, I had another chance to work but it’s in Ashburton, a town about an hour drive from Christchurch. The offer was not bad and I accepted it. At least I knew that I have an opportunity to explore another place in South Island. 

I still remember that I spent the first snowy day in Christchurch, so excited! Looking out from the window, children were playing snows happily. Few days later, I left this beautiful city to Asburton for a new work.

On the bus, I saw snows everywhere and they made stunning snowy sceneries that I had never seen before.

When I just arrived in Ashburton after an hour journey, it’s only 3 degrees Celsius :0

3 degree Celsius in the morning in Ashburton

Car topped with sonws

Friday, 13 September 2013

A Great Driving Experience in South Island

I by all means was responsible to drive the car throughout the journey for the 11 days because I was the only one who could drive and had a valid driving license. I had no other complaints except sometimes I couldn't take the pictures while driving. On the other hand, I actually enjoyed very much driving on the roads in South Island. The landscapes were always so magnificent along the journey. Sitting beside me, my friend Yen occasionally helped to look up the map and entertained me in the car :D  

Scenery on the journey to Kaikoura

Beach views along the East Coast
We stopped off at the beach and enjoyed our prepared lunch before continued driving to Kaikoura

As long as follow the road rules and routes, it shouldn’t be a problem driving in New Zealand. To me, driving on the left side of the road is stress-free as I used to follow the rule in my country. However, it may seem unaccustomed for some international drivers. Please click on this Driving In New Zealand section to learn more about the visitors driving license, road safety and rules in New Zealand. 

Snowy mountains seen on the road trip began in Wanaka

A large field with the mountains backdro

By and large, we had pleasing moments and enjoyed every road trip reaching the different regions of South Island.

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Returning to Christchurch from Lake Tekapo (Day 11)

On the last day of our itinerary, we spent the morning hours in Lake Tekapo. It’s actually not much traveling on the last day. I drove the car on the State Highway return to Christchuch. Christchurch is one of the stations where we could drop the car to the rental company.

When we reached the city of Christchurch, it’s about late afternoon. We checked in a backpacker hostel then we cleaned the rented car a bit before we returned the car on the next day, in the hope that we won't get charges for the car dirt.

Both of us had so many clothes to clean and things to pack. We’re tired after the long trip, especially me, as the only driver along the journey. At the same time, we also felt a little down owing to the end of traveling. It meant that we need to find some jobs again and save some money before we could have another trip. Traveling is never enough for us, lol!

Sunday, 28 July 2013

A Road Trip from Mt Cook to Lake Tekapo (Day 10)

From Mt. Cook, I kept driving and enjoying all wonderful panoramas surrounded us along the trip to Lake Tekapo.

They’re still in my mind these days, at least at this moment of writing.

We stopped off few times on the roadside for photography before we reached the small town more than an hour later. 

Lake Tekapo is embellished with the milky blue waters in the lake. At nearby, we visited the Church of the Good Shepherd and viewed the Collie Dog memorial, they’re some of the legends here.

The town at Lake Tekapo is small and there're only a few shops to visit. However, the best part of staying in Lake Tekapo is to watch the twinkle twinkle little stars at clear night skies, before get on the bed.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Experiencing the Aoraki / Mountain Cook National Park (Day 10)

Together with Yen, we came to one of the sites where the movie 'Lord of The Rings' took place. There’re not many choices of budget accommodation and there’s no any BBH hostel in Mountain Cook, so we stayed in the only one YHA hostel.

YHA hostel with mountains backdrop

It was clean and warm. In fact, we didn't book in advance but we're lucky that there're vacancies for both of us when we arrived after sunset. Or else, we had to be freezing in the car, just like my bottle. See, I forgot to bring it along from the car and the next morning it became frozen same as the car.

After checked out from the hostel, I drove through the Mt Cook and surroundings. We in person experienced the spectacular majesty of the highest snow-capped mountains of New Zealand as shown in the movie.

Frozen leaves on the ground

A layer of ice created and covered the road

At Mt. Cook, it’s too cold for my body and my palms turned red even I wore gloves. I really couldn't afford to accompany my friend completed the Hooker Valley Track up to 4 hour return on the cold late autumn; despite I knew that the journey would be great if we really could make it. So dear friend… However, we did explore around Alpine Memorial, Hooker Valley, Blue Lake and the glaciers.

Alpine Memorial to remember those who perished on Mt Cook

Hooker Valley

Blue Lake(but the lake is obviously green, why not Green Lake?)