Shrouded in Cloud

Nicholas Quirke was not finishing his day where he expected on 5th February. It was not an early start and waking, understandably as time had gone forward 2 hours, later than he expected, threw him off centre. He was impressed though to discover a towelling robe at the hotel; it was the first time he had experienced this. It was his intention to pick his car hire up early, see Christchurch and get away to drive to Queenstown Via Mount Cook. The delay did no worry him too much, but when he was kindly dropped off at JUCY car hire by the hotel shuttle he was horrified to see a long queue, a queue that did not even start to move for 30 minutes. It took him 2 hours in total before the car, with a registration plate starting HER, was in his hands He had plenty to see in Christchurch and when he was parked he asked a woman at the information desk where the Cathedral was. Her name was Donna and they had a great chat about the City and the earthquakes. The damage was very substantial and as well as the damaged cathedral he saw the Cardboard Cathedral, designed by a Japanese philanthropist here met another lovely lady, originally from Edgbaston,  a Memorial, the White Chairs, which symbolise each individual killed in the quakes, and the Botanical Gardens. He didn’t leave til 4.30, which meant he would not get to his hotel in Queenstown till about 12 pm which seemed ludicrous as he would miss the important sights of Mount Cook , Lake Tekapo etc. The scenery he was driving through was beautiful as he took the inland Scenic Route, though he was extremely aware that the mountains were shrouded in cloud and the once in a life time landscape was being lost to him. As he reached the town Farlie, he realised he would probably not have this chance again and Nicholas made the decision to stop and enquire about rates at the hotel on the high street. It was ridiculously cheap and he decided to give it a go. It felt like scene from a Ken Loach movie and he could be in social housing from, he had been used to the high life recently and it would do him for the night to enjoy a less salubrious establishment. It ensured that the beauty of the land was something he would have the time to explore and enjoy.  The WIFI was impossible and he was frustrated, he could always try again in the morning and not loose sleep but he was able to do some work on his film and photos before going to bed but further plans on the trip would have to wait and he felt shrouded in cloud too..



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