Ornithophobia

Since it is my birthday (🎉🎈🎂) a couple of friends and I decided to take a road trip through the South Island. We’ve been driving at least four hours a day, so I’ve gotten to catch up on a ton of old music I haven’t listened to in ages. My favorite old album so far is The Adicts, Songs of Praise.

Top Left: Chard Farm Vineyard Bottom Left: Along Hwy 94 Top Right: Marian Falls Bottom Right: Random Hike on Hwy 94

We flew into Christchurch, after missing our first flight and catching a later one. Daylight was burning so we headed to Willowbrook Wildlife Reserve to seem some native birds

Wildlife Reserve

I’ve been loving the birds since I’ve gotten here; my walk to class every morning is through a wooded path and there are always birds out singing.  Sometimes I hang out on my dreaded two hundred steps for a bit just to listen to the birds. My favorite thus far is the Tui. They have about four thousand vocal boxes or something which makes it so they have about two billion different sounds (very rough estimate).
 

Tui Bird

 

However, there are a ton of birds in New Zealand that I haven’t been able to see yet, including the kiwi. So we thought the wildlife reserve would be our best shot at seeing some of these rare birds.

  

Well, we definitely did see them. Not only did I see them, but I also was nearly undressed by one of them. There was a section in the reserve where you have to go into a caged area so the birds can roam free. It was exciting because the birds would walk right up to you. The problem was that this bird was not shy. I sat down next to him thinking he would check me out then fly away. Nope. He sure didn’t. I turned my head away for a second and he snuck up behind me and sat on my shoulder. I was so excited for a second, until he started grabbing my necklace, biting my fingers and trying to take off my shirt. Blood was shed and fear engulfed me. I stood up to get him off and he wouldn’t stop following me. 

Kea Bird

It was a bit traumatizing. But I eventually got over it, at least I thought. We continued driving to Milford sound and went through a pretty long tunnel. When we came out the other side there was the most amazing scenery. So naturally, we stopped.

Milford Sound

We got out of the car and turned around to find this bird on the roof of our car… He was pecking away at the rubber, chewing on the antenna and trying to come inside. Meanwhile, we were cracking up. And I was courageously hiding behind a street sign yelling to get him off because he was wrecking out rental car… And trying not to pee myself from laughing so hard.
  

Eventully we got him off the car and drove away. And of course, on the way back we ran into the little guy again. Except this time he brought his friends. I think they’re out to get me…

  

And, yes! I did see a kiwi!  

They are nocturnal, hence bad lighting

I Saw The Sign! 

And now I have Ace of Base stuck in my head. Maybe you will too! 😂

A few days ago I caused a car crash… And as much as I’d like to blame it on my merciless beauty which distracted the driver, that would only be half the truth.  In fact, I was getting ready to cross the street completely legally when a car decided to slam on their brakes (probably because they were dumbfounded by such a stunning young lady heh hem) causing the car behind them to slam into their rear end. Everyone was fine, so I decided to do the logical thing and walk quickly in the opposite direction… 

There’s been quite an uproar in the country about allowing foreigners to drive. And by uproar, I mean some slight groaning under their breath…  Because people don’t really cause uproars here. But it seems that driving on the left side of the road is pretty dangerous if you’ve never done it… Who’d a thunk it.  Fortunately, I don’t think me crossing the street (and being so captivating) is part of the problem.  But it got me thinking how easy it is to mess things up when you’ve got street signs like this…. 

  
Not that driving on the opposite side of the road isn’t difficult enough, but when you have street signs that you have no clue what they mean, it might not be such a bad idea to have foreigners take a basic safety course.  Especially with these cars that have wheels that come off when you’re driving on a curvy road and somehow reattach themselves on the opposite side. 

  

As you can imagine, giving way in a roundabout is a pretty scary thing the first time you do it. Not only do you have to look right instead of left, go around the circle to the left and exit on the left side (because that’s not complicated enough) you also have to use your blinkers, which are on the opposite side, to indicate when you are  passing an exit as well as when you are taking an exit.  And it’s not as if you can avoid roundabouts, because they are everywhere. 

  

 

Then there’s this really helpful road sign to indicate… Well, I’m not really sure what it means. 

  
 

And as if driving weren’t stressful enough, there are even strange rules while chilling out.  I mean, since when do you have to bring your own woman to a bar? What an inconvenince. 

  

Fisticuffs? Acting the goat? I decided to find another bar….