By the time we reached Christchurch, we were a bedraggled pair, but oh, so ready for a soft bed and a long sleep. Being the least sick of the pair of us, I drove the hire car to our accommodation, a merciful short couple of miles from the airport. We'd had the foresight to pick up some sandwiches in the airport, so when we got to the Airport Birches Motel all we need to do was eat, shower and collapse - which is pretty much how it went. The accommodation was really comfortable and handy for the airport.
The cool New Zealand air helped us sleep well, as did being unconscious with fatigue, and drugged up on brufen! We woke the next day feeling a bit better. Our bug did travel with us for the next week or so, but that's all I'm going to say about it. It sucked to be sick and traveling, but I'd have to say, it would have sucked more to be home and sick. For me, traveling makes everything better - even the flu!
Next morning, we grabbed some supplies at a supermarket and hit the road. The plan was to begin our three weeks in New Zealand in the far south and work our way north to cash in on the last of the summer weather. Our first goal was to get to Milford Sound, the nearest town to it being Te Anu. We decided that we'd be happy to spend four hours a day in the car, so that meant we'd stop for the night in the middle of the South Island a little south of Mount Cook.
The claim to fame for the place is the Omarama Hot Tubs. You get a private wooden tub filled with filtered lake water and warmed with a wooden stove.
Earlier that day we'd bought precooked bacon. It was a middle cut, so we'd eaten the leaner "back" portion and thrown the fatty "streaky" portion in the bin. It was time to go "bin hoking!"
We washed the bacon in boiling water from the in-room kettle, (no microwave unfortunately) and did a stock-take of our emergency road trip food supplies.
I went to bed looking forward to breakfast.
Breakfast was a disaster - A really expensive breakfast buffet of cold sausages made from God-only-knows-what, congealed-yolk fried eggs and cardboard bacon. The DIY toaster set our toast on fire - no kidding! I was so disappointed.
The food in New Zealand didn't really improve much the whole time. I guess you just can't be good at everything, and so we concentrated on enjoying what New Zealand does do well - the scenery!
Before we left the town that morning, we took a drive out to see the Clay Cliffs. This was an interesting stop. It was like a little snippet of what we'd seen in Utah last September.
The rain started and made the scenery even more dramatic and even more like Ireland than before.