Sitting on a Bus, Sitting on a Train, Walking to the Motel

Saturday Jan 5, 2020.  A lot of this trip was trying to make internet work.  I uploaded all the Youtube clips I could at the Punga motel, while there was reliable internet. The other major part of the trip was sitting on transportation – for this morning it was taking a bus from Franz Josef to Greymouth, where we would catch a train back to Christchurch.

Di (Diane) Dobson, originally from the North Island, now from Christchurch. She was with us for most of the tour, and gave us lots of pointers.
The bus made a 30-minute lunch stop at Hokitika. It was a lunch stop for most people, but we wanted to try the National Kiwi Center. Where else can someone see NZ’s largest eels? Merrianne fed them strips of beef heart. They always grow louder when they’re about to feed on human flesh! Actually the 2-meter eels are very tame.

We also saw actual live Kiwi birds. They were behind glass in a darkened room, as they’re nocturnal animals. The ones we saw were about the size of a large chicken, ran as smoothly as a roadrunner, and had no problem jumping up a foot onto a rock. They made two sounds: 1) Cat trying to hack a fur ball out of its throat; and 2) Puppy in distress whimpering. Photography was prohibited, unfortunately, as it would disturb the birds.

Mailing a postcard while waiting for the train.
This is the scenic Alpine train that goes from Greymouth to Christchurch.
Safety card for the train.
This reminds me of my software releases.
We missed lunch when the bus stopped around noon, so got food on the train at about 2:30. Merrianne had some roasted vegetables with feta, and I had smoked salmon soba salad.
The route is scenic. I took more video than pictures.
The last car on the train was a viewing car without windows. It was chilly at times in the wind, but I spent a lot of time there.
At last! Our single suitcase was just about the last out on the linear conveyor belt.
After the train got in at Christchurch, we were able to walk a few blocks to our motel. Nice place. We never really unpacked, since we were only staying overnight, and would have to leave at 6 the next morning. This was in a completely different part of town from where we had stayed, before. We chose that location solely for its proximity to the train station.
The motel office was so shallow, only one customer could stand in front of the reception desk.
The room had a package of two tea cookies along with the tea and coffee. Something unique. No plunger (press) coffee, but instant crystals. Wish we had taken some of those packets with us.
The microwave was a bit difficult to access.
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