Wednesday, January 21, 2015

2015 goals

2015 is here, and I started the new year with a twisted ankle. Regardless, I have a big year planned:

January: Fremont 50k Fat Ass
March: Marin Ultra Challenge 50k
April: American River 50 miler
July: SF marathon
August: pace Angeles Crest 100 mile
September: Marin Monster 10k race director
November: probably quad Dipsea
December: Honolulu Marathon

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Thursday, January 8, 2015

Christchurch stories

A good story, or a "crazy" story always happens when you have no itinerary, or you allow yourself to not follow the tourist trail. Like talking the local bus - you know something will go astray on a local bus. That's half the point.

Hugh and booked the local express bus from Dunedin to Christchurch. Neither of us wanted the stress of driving on the left side of the road, on unfamiliar highways. And the price was cheap (25$). And the seats bigger and roomier than on a plane. But the catch was there were limited seats and limited connections to our next bed (in a suburb south of Christchurch in governors bay). Only one connection a day from the city to the burbs.

I easily got our tix at the local Dunedin iSite office at really good rates. And our B&B host volunteered a lift to the bus depot. The bus was a plush ride with a German type time keeper of a driver. We scored front seats with a wide panoramic, no motion sickness, full scenic view. Very pleasant.

Art in Christchurch - the Lego Lambs:

However...halfway through the drive a 20 year old boy sitting in the back of the bus made the driver pull over to throw up - five minute delay. Credit is due this boy - no vomit on the bus, only on the side of the road. Then a second delay - we had a scheduled stop to drop a passenger off in a village, but two people got off instead. Apparently a passenger got off to piss and neglected to tell the driver. About two miles out of town the back of the bus started yelling at our poor driver to turn around to pick back up the renegade pisser. So twenty minutes were wasted on turning around and finding someone who got off the bus for a piss.

More art in Christchurch- murals at the brothel:

Our driver passed other drivers and tried to make up the lost time, but to no avail. We got to Christchurch 20 minutes late, missing our connection to governors bay. However we got lucky - a bus driver named Hugh no less was getting off duty two hours later who lived in governors bay, offered us to take us there for free in his own car, if we were willing to wait till he got off shift? perfect! Yes - we can wait!

The old cathedral:

This gave us about 1.5 hours to walk around Christchurch and take a look at the deviation. And we had timing - we made it to the cardboard cathedral at the start of the children's mass, which featured live barnyard animals. I got to watch a cow poop on the alter! And sheep processing down the pews,with bows on their horns.

Sheet with bows:

Cow with hat:

The cardboard cathedral with the children's mass:

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