Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Tramping Around Arthur's Pass

I have a ton of great pictures to post today.  I went tramping (hiking) around Arthur's Pass with people from Church over Easter Weekend.  It was a two day tramp with lots of river crossing.  We didn't clime up any hills or mountains, we just followed a river for about five hours, crossing through it roughly ten times per day.  It was a great experience and I got to see a lot of beautiful sights in New Zealand.

The first day it was quite foggy out, which gave me some very interesting pictures, with clouds gathered around the tops of the mountains.  Here are the pictures from the first day, there will be captions for some of the pictures:

An interesting fungus I found at the tramp's start.
My first view of the river we will be crossing

River close up.

Right before we started the tramp.

Took off the jacket and traded the hat for something cooler.

Hidden waterfall.
This waterfall was pretty far away, but I think I got a decent picture of it.
Me and Jack, having made it to the cabin we stayed the night at.

After the first day we stayed in a place called a Hut.  It was a large cabin we shared with the other people who were tramping.  We had a nice supper and played a lot of card games.  We also had a bonfire and made some New Zealand smores.  They don't have graham crackers in New Zealand so we used some biscuits (cookies) with chocolate on them.

The next day there was fewer clouds out, so I got some nice shots of the mountains.  Here the pictures from then:

There was a little tram to get across the river.

We only went half way.

Some now near the top of the mountains.

I had an amazing time tramping.  Was just about the most beautiful place I've been too.  Next post will probably be detailing my trip with my parents, when they come to New Zealand.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Lantern Festival & Cave Stream & Castle Rock & Driving Near Lake Lyndon

Hi!  So, a pretty big update post today.

First off I went to the Christchurch Lantern Festival, celebrating Chinese New Year!  I went last Sunday with some friends from church.  While there we watch some of an entertaining puppet show by Chinese artists.  There were tons of decorative cloth lanterns, I have some picture, BUT, they aren't very good quality.  It was quite dark and I only had my phone to take pictures with.  At the end they had an intense fireworks show, which lasted a good 10 minuets.  It was a very fun experience!

Today I went with some more church friends to Cave Stream.  It's a cave... with a stream in it.  :P
Anyway, the water was quite chilly, and at the deepest it went up to my chest.  It was a fun, if wet, tramp(hike) through a pitch black cave(we had torches(aka flashlights)).  I don't have any picture of the cave, but I did mange to get some really good shots just outside the cave.  I only had my phone, so the photo quality isn't a good as the garden photos.  Also, working on my Kiwi phrases, I've provided you all the American translation in brackets so you can learn as well.

(little bit windy up there!)

After Cave Stream we headed over Castle Rock, which was about a five minuet drive away.  I manged to clime most of the way up a side hill, and take some nice shots from up there.  The others went to another set of hills really close by.  Apparently parts of Narnia were shot here, which was a neat little fact to learn.  Some great views of the local mountains about an hours drive from Christchurch.

Before heading back to Christchurch a few of use went off-roading in one of the guy's trucks.  It was a blast!  Me and three other got to sit in the back of the truck, in the truck bed and ride there.  We were bounced around quite a bit.  After about halfway through the trip, another two people moved into the back for a bit of a crunched, but still fun, ride.  Here's a picture of me an the other five during the wild ride!  (It was kinda hard to get everyone in the picture, but I think I did okay.)