Two hours from Christchurch, through low, grass-covered hills, we swing around a bend. The road stretches out across a massive plain of grass and flowers and sparse trees, sliced in two by the grey road — a straight shot that stretches out until it disappears at the base of the Southern Alps.
Having acquired some kind of cold in Marrakech, I’ve started to cough. I hoped that good food and the warm air would snuff it out before it (and I) became a nuisance. No such luck. I awake today to begin a two-day mountain trek with a full-blown hacking cough.
As I write this from an internet cafe in Auckland, I am awaiting lunch, awaiting my bus to the airport, awaiting my flight home (fingers crossed for a cancellation). New Rule: Buses loaded with Japanese tourists, faces pressed to the glass, all holding cameras (some holding two), can appear at any time, in any location.