Hello again everybody. After a few days in Malaysia eating delicious noodles and pork buns, we arrived into New Zealand very early Wednesday morning. A day spent with Andrew, Sue’s brother in the Sylvia Park shopping mall and some Burger Fuel before Sue and I flew to Wellington for the start of our roadtrip down to Queenstown.
We stayed the night with our good friends Bill and Maria before an early start and the ferry crossing across to Picton. On the ferry we met up with Ross and Lin and their three dogs: Ruby, Amber and Smudge who were all coming with us on the trip. We stopped at The Store for lunch and I got further sunburnt – the sun is very hot here! – before we stopped for the night in Christchurch. I had been to the city a few times before but this was the first time I’d been there since the earthquakes devastated the city. We stayed in a house belonging to Lin’s brother which is actually scheduled for demolition due to the earthquake damage. The CBD of the city is closed to cars but we saw lots of unoccupied houses, which had been split in the middle by the quakes.
The second day and we made the trip down to Lake Tekapo, a huge lake and the site for the largest observatory in the Southern Hemisphere. We had booked a night tour of the observatory but unfortunately it started raining and so instead we had to look round the tiny place for anywhere open to grab a drink!
The final day of the road trip took us to Queenstown but not before dropping in at Mount Cook (Aoraki in Maori), New Zealand’s highest mountain at 3754 metres. There was a fair bit of cloud around but it was still a stunning sight and maybe we’ll have to stay at the Hermitage in future.
When we arrived in Queenstown the weather wasn’t great but today it’s fabulous and it forced me to go for a run round the lake this morning and I’m looking forward to going into town soon and maybe grabbing some mutton bird for dinner. I’m just waiting for Sue to finish her game. She drew her first round game while I’m on 2/2, having beaten Andrew Janisz, an unrated but tricky opponent in round one and Andrew Bird, rated at 2216 today. The game was still around level until he made a big mistake with 22.Ne1? when he was in a lot of trouble.
Sue and I will try to update the site as often as we can but you can follow the games live at http://www.newzealandchess.co.nz/live/tfd_fourbds.htm and the results are updated at: http://chess-results.com/tnr63826.aspx?art=2&rd=2&lan=1