End of yet another month. This officially marks that we are in our final quarter of the year.
We saw a book called “The Gratitude Diaries: How a Year looking on the Bright Side can transform your life”. This is exactly what we are trying to achieve this year… Guess we aren’t the only ones in the world who have learned what a difference it can make.
We found out some sad news today, a girl Le used to work with was diagnosed with lung cancer a few years ago and the word is that she at the end of her treatment journey. She was a year older than Le.
We also saw today while walking around Christchurch, 185 different white chairs for the 185 lives lost during the 2011 Earthquake. It was moving and stopped us in our tracks. Our thoughts racing a million miles an hour about life.
How quickly lives can change…. how short and valuable our lives are. How we must continue to live our life with no regrets, live to the max and ensure that the people we love know we love them and that we spend time with those we want to… not with those we have to.
Summary for September 30
Live in the now and be mindful. Enjoy and be grateful.
Right! We are back in Christchurch. It was back to civilisation and as we walk around the city, we are humbled by the destruction evident still from the earthquake back in 2011.
There is plenty of reconstruction underway still but there is also a lot of abandoned buildings and collapsed buildings. The streets are quiet and relatively deserted. Moving further away from the city centre, there is a bit more action but in the heart, it is rather eerily quiet.
Our hearts truly go out for those who were here and experienced such devastation. And our minds extend to also other countries that suffer such huge natural disasters.
Summary for September 29
Exploring a town after everything had shut down for the day. We are not used to travelling to a city and finding little life by 5.30pm.
We forget that life in Sydney is so fast and quick. We sometimes think that other cities speed should match it. But when we stop for a moment and think, we can’t adopt what we are used to, to everything else around us.
Just realised that we have mucked up the numbering of the days. Urgh!!
We don’t know whether we are coming or going when we are on holidays…
We went via Shanty Town from Hokitika to reach Arthur’s Pass. In the middle of a national park where there is no reception and plenty of sand flies. But where it is so remote and just wilderness. Almost takes us back to the Amazon but WITHOUT the wild animals right outside our window.
Anyway, backing up a bit – we went to Shanty Town – a heritage town that was pretty “shabby”. It was quite an expensive entry fee to get very little. We were there early by lunch time and thought we would grab lunch there. Ordered food and guess what… everything we ordered was not available … sold out! And everything they offered was not on the menu. It took us over 50 minutes to get a bowl of heated up soup and we were the first people in the restaurant.
It was the most random experience EVER at a restaurant.
Once arriving at Arthur’s Pass, we went for a “short” walk but it was upwards on steps to access the Devil’s Punchbowl Falls. Definitely a workout for the thighs.
Summary for September 28
Staying at a place with NO reception and was SO remote.
There is an explanation for everything. Who knows what went on in that kitchen but we soon learned that Shanty Town is a government initiative, almost run like a not for profit. So it explained a great deal to us. We weren’t annoyed.
We had an incredible night sleep last night. The room was spacious and comfortable.
First up was a walk to the Franz Josef glacier… it almost felt like we were walking along in another world. The ground was rocky and rocks were this grey-white colour. The mountains around us were covered in green lush trees and then the tops were coated with snow. There was low cloud cover with spots of blue sky. All the different colours around us didn’t seem to blend right and up ahead we saw another glacier that in only a matter of years had retreated a whole lot too.
For lunch, we enjoyed a massive pastie between the two of us and a nutella donut. Yummo!
Now in Hokitika, we went to see a beautiful sunset, and then the Glow Worm Dell.
Summary for September 27
Does being attacked by sand flies count as a newbie??
When we ordered lunch, it came to $11.50 but the place had run out of change so was asking us for coins if possible. We only had $12 so we gave it to them and told them to keep the change. Le’s mum bought lunch too and they overcharged her by $1.50 which we only noticed after we had left. We then said, it was no big deal because this was a small family business anyway and it was good to help them out. As we were enjoying our lunch on the bench outside, the lady from the shop, came out and said to Le’s mum, “Sorry! I just realised I had overcharged you.” And she gave back $2. To which Le’s mum then said to us, “Now she’s over-changed me!” And Le said, “it’s alright – the equilibrium, because David and I paid an extra 50c. So it balanced itself out.”
Reminder – that the world works itself out…..it is in an equilibrium. What goes up, must come down. What goes out, comes back in…..
It was a BIG drive to Franz Josef glacier today where we were stopping for the night.
Along the way, there was plenty to see – the road was windy but we saw waterfalls, lakes and glaciers.
The water is so crystal clear and clean, it is unbelievable. It is almost like looking through glass.
Seeing Fox Glacier was a little unreal. About 13 years ago, David was in NZ South Island and he was able to walk straight onto Fox Glacier but since then it has retreated A LOT and is not unstable to walk onto from the base. Helicopters must fly people to the top to start their walks now. Even to witness where it once was 4 years ago to where it is now…. it won’t be long before there will be no more glacier.
Summary for September 26
Ate at a restaurant that had Thai, Chinese, Japanese and Indian on the menu.
Seeing the glacier is a reminder that we need to appreciate and look after the Earth. As time progresses, some amazing things are disappearing before our eyes, whether it be the animals becoming extinct or wonders like glaciers disappearing.