March 5 Tranz-Alpine Train (Day 160)

Last night the weather got a little wild! We saw the storm coming across the Tasman Sea, and when it hit it was windy and hailing!

It calmed down soon after, but it was exciting while it lasted!

We woke up this morning to a washed world! The air was crisp and the ocean waves were vigorous, still carrying the energy from the storm last night. We packed up our overnight bags for our scenic ride on the Tranz-Alpine train from Greymouth across the South Island over the Southern Alps via Arthur’s Pass to Christchurch.

We got to the Greymouth station before the crowds of passengers. We walked around town and enjoyed window shopping and a drink.

Then the train arrived and we were All Aboard!

We were wined and dined in the Scenic Plus class, starting with bubbly and an hors d’ouevres plate while we rolled past the scenery along Lake Brunner (Kotuku Moana, ‘Sea of White Herons’, to the Maori).

As we approached Arthur’s Pass we spotted some new snow on the mountain tops. It really is getting close to fall here!

We had a short stop at the Pass while about half of the passengers got off and another group boarded!

As we rolled out of the Pass and into the Waimakariri River Valley we looked back at the Southern Alps.

Beautiful scenery as we passed through the Torlesse Range and into the Canterbury Plains.

We arrived at the Christchurch station at about 7pm and had a short walk to our hotel in the Addington District of town, an ‘inner-city suburb’. We settled in and wandered down the street past several restaurants until we were almost pulled into an Afghan restaurant where we ended up getting a plate of delicious smelling takeout of spiced rice, kebabs and chicken in an awesome sauce. Even though we were stuffed with the lamb dinner we had on the train, we couldn’t resist nibbling a little!

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