|September 14, 2011
Today we were on the road again, an almost daily tale at the moment. This time we were heading north, to spend one night in a town called Springfield, about an hour from Christchurch. We didn’t have much to do in Springfield (actually, nothing) so we went straight into Christchurch for the afternoon and found the Fanzone to watch the afternoon’s rugby match. The drive along the coast was nice but there wasn’t anything much we wanted to stop at that we hadn’t seen before so other than a stop to eat our lunch we were soon in central Christchurch.
Going to the Fanzone turned out to be a good idea as the match involved one of the Pacific island nations, Samoa, who have a large population in Christchurch and this was demonstrated by the large number of them at the Fanzone, even at 3pm on a Wednesday afternoon! We grabbed a quick drink and took our seats opposite one of the big screens. It was a lovely bright day but sat in the shade was quite chilly so we soon made our way to the sunny side to warm up. The match was really good, too, and the Samoans and pretend Namibians in the crowd enjoyed cheering on their teams and winding up each other. It was noticeable that most of the Samoans watching seemed to be teenage boys who probably should have been at school and it makes me wonder if the islanders populations here are similar to the Aborigine population in Australia and “fall by the wayside”, for want of a better term. A lot of Samoan-looking girls turned up later in their school uniforms to watch the end of the match and I suspect the girls are a bit more studious than the boys!
After the match had finished, we decided not to stay for the second match and instead drove to our hostel in Springfield. It was a bit further than I’d imagined and with the busy traffic in the city it took us just over an hour to get there. I had a couple of scares driving around the city with one car pulling in front of me and me pulling out in front of another car turning right at some lights. I’d almost forgotten what it was like driving in traffic (Bali doesn’t count!) as even though we’d done plenty of miles here, most of it was on quieter country roads. The funny thing is there is an advert about driver awareness on TV at the moment which focuses on male drivers and about them staying in “mantrol”. As soon as I’d pulled in front of this car I looked at Elizabeth and apologized for losing mantrol. It probably doesn’t sound funny now but it was at the time.
We easily found the hostel in the quiet town of Springfield and we were two of about 7 people staying there – 3 people who work in the local ski fields, 2 people who were there to ski and then us, just passing through. It was quite a strange place and I hadn’t realized it was so out of our way but it was a change from a big city hostel, that’s for sure. Thankfully it had a decent kitchen and we cooked dinner of minced beef with vegetables with mashed potato. It wasn’t quite a cottage pie but it was close enough! After dinner we watched the rugby. The TV at the hostel didn’t have the right channel but we asked the owner and he let us watch it on his TV. I felt like we were disturbing the family as we were surrounded by his kid’s doing the dishes, then their homework while him and his wife went about doing laundry and folding sheets while we relaxed on their sofa watching an awful Scottish performance, edging out Georgia 15-6 in a game with no tries and barely any action at all. The match was in Invercargill and the weather was awful which kind of excuses the poor match but I’d prefer to think the two teams were just shit.