Wednesday, March 31, 2010

TranzCoastal Railway - Christchurch to Blenheim

One of many spectacular views from the TranzCoastal Railway.

After running practice on Thursday night, I ran home to pack up my gear to go hike the Heaphy Track. I had a day and a half to get there, so I wanted to try something new. The train wasn't too much more than the bus so I signed up to take the TranzCoastal Railway from Christchurch, through Kaikoura, and up to Blenheim. Most people take it all the up way to Picton to catch the ferry over to Wellington. I'd driven this road a couple times, but thought the train would be a fun change. It was.

One of my favorite sites on the trip was this classic car cruising the coast.

The morning was pretty quiet. I sat in my seat and watched the scenery of towns and quick glimpses of sunrise pass by through the window. However, when we were almost to Kaikoura, everything was getting spectacular so I moved into the open air car to experience the scene instead of just watching it. It was like getting out of a car and onto a bicycle. The ocean came into view. The mountains sprang up. We saw basking seals on the shore. We saw corralled fish jumping out of the water to dodge dusky dolphins. It was warm. It was wonderful and stayed that way for the rest of the trip.

A video tour of the open air car.

Traveling by train is always a treat. This trip was no different. I don't know why, but I've always hated buses. Back in Denver and New York, I'll happily ride the train all day. I avoid the buses. I'll bike to the train instead. I don't know why. It is weird, but it works for me.

Another great view from the train.

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