Sunday, March 27, 2011

WWOOFing Springfield and Exploring Castle Hill

Leaving wine country was hard after all the free tastings, but we managed to drag ourselves away. We were on the road again, heading to Springfield, a long ways away. This drive was supposed to happen with Richard, our friend from Christchurch, but the earthquake happened. We decided to bypass Christchurch and take the split onto Arthur’s Pass from Kaikoura. Our first pick-up was with Evelyn, a typical Kiwi mother, young and kind. She dropped us 30 minutes up the road. On a side note, we realized you have to take every and any ride you can get, even if it's 10 km up the road. So our next pick up was by Nick, a clothing designer heading down to Christchurch for a meeting about moving the office from the quake disaster. We rode with him for hours, occasionally stopping to show us a waterfall or a nice beach. When we reached the split, he dropped us off, and it started to pour. We hoped for an instant ride seeing that we were two girls standing in the rain, one with a shredded poncho and another without anything. That was me, poncho-less. Yes, I'm stupid (or maybe stubborn and frugal). After waiting ages, and looking like a wet rat, a jaguar pulled over. Mistake? I think not! An older, conservative couple was giving us a ride. This was going down in hitchhiking history! We were amazed and it was great to see new types of people. They definitely felt bad for us, but who cares, hitching is all about guilt anyway. They were so nice they drove us right to our destination, not wanting us to get rained on any more. So sweet.

We arrived at our WWOOFing destination. A backpackers/pub. It looked nothing like the pictures. Definitely needed some work. The owners weren’t even around to give us the low down, so we sat around for awhile. We finally got ourselves a “Pod” via phone call by the barmaid who was angry we didn't buy anything. This pod, the place in which we slept, was basically a trailer box with bunk beds and electrical outlets. Nothing special and definitely budget. The one reason we chose this place was because we figured out the owners were gay men. I love, love, love gay men! Unfortunately after meeting these two they weren’t as lovely as we expected. There was Malcom, who was the butch and ran the business. Then there was Chris, who looked like the blonde guy from Queer Eye, who was the bitch in the partnership. They were all over the place and needed to get their shit together. We cruised the first day and joined a little soiree in the backpackers lounge that night. That day we also met Glenn, a fellow traveler, on a solo journey. We partied with him as well. I liked to call him a skinny Gimli because he had a long red beard. May as well if we’re talking LOTR.

The next day all we did was paint a wall. Seriously. All white. Whomever painted it prior needed a lesson on painting. We made that shit shine. Later that day we took a little side trip with Glenn (who had a car) to Castle Hill. This place was known for rock climbing and bouldering, or just plain fun. We also discovered they’d filmed parts of Narnia and LOTR here. Sweet! We roamed around for awhile and enjoyed ourselves. The next day we decided to leave. This place wasn’t what we expected and although we get food and board, it wasn’t anything special. We said our goodbyes without hesitation and made our way to Greymouth. Jillian had a friend who’s mother had a friend and wanted to make sure we were safe after the quake. We were also feeling aftershocks here (in Springfield), so it was no joke. Knowing nothing of these people and hoping for the best, we hitched our way there. Good thing for good people in the world. You never know where they are hiding and when you will get to meet them. This next stop was randomness at its best. The outcome was completely unknown and we were okay with that. That has been the entire mentality of this trip. Just go with it.

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