Sunday, November 25, 2012

Driving On The Other Side ( Part 25 )


Bender reaches Christchurch around mid-day, Billy is stunned by what he see's . Homes, stores, schools, Apartment building all in ruins, destruction in all directions, he is glad his destination is out and away from town, and, the congrete jungle that has fallen to ruins. Transportation in and out of town are at a stand still, the Airport is shut down, along with the Rail lines, the only means of travel is the road system, and it is bumper  to bumper all through the city. Bender is trying to make his way to the southern part of the city to join Highway 73 and drive 12 Kilometers west to the Hunters Farm, but it is slow going, and at times at a complete stand still.
Directly to the East,  Jane and Kelly are making their way south towards Te Anau, traffic is very light, and the girls are not completely aware of the devastation that has occurred on the other side of the Island. They have been driving for a couple of hours when Kelly ask Jane " so, what do you think Billy was up to staying in the wine country". Jane turns to Kelly and replies " I don't know , and, I don't care, Billy is going to do what he wants, so , why should I worry about it ?" Before Kelly could say anything , both girls were looking hard at a hitch hiker with his tumb out , standing on the side of the road. Jane, " is that Mark from Montana without the sexy swede ?" Kelly boast, " I believe it is, look at that, could be our lucky day".  Jane turns to Kelly with both eyebrows raised and ask " Who's WE whiteman, remember the deal, you said you would be happy with the sexy swede, and I had dips on Mark, RE- MEM- BER?" Kelly sighs and with a pathetic look on her face  and begs " com'on Janie I'm ready to pop, I'm soooo ready, coul, oh hi Mark , funny to find you out here all alone, by the side of the road". Leaning on the drivers side of the landcruiser Mark sticks his head into the vehicle and announces, " ladies, you have no idea how good it is to see you two, I have been out here for hours, man I'm I hot" .With a devilish smirk, Jane pipes in with"  Throw your pack in the back and climb aboard, with a muffled voice adds, your not the only one who is hot, and then leans her head way back and laughs".
Billy, after what seems like hours driving through Christcurch finally is heading West on highway 73, traffic is flowing on this secondary road, most people were heading  south just to escape the nightmare. Bender is heading straight toward the Snowy Mountains, and with each kilometer he see's an improvement  in the realm of reality. It appears like east of Christchurch was for the most part, spared from all the devastation that Bender can see in his rear view mirror. The fault line moves in a North -South direction, most of the damage was along the fault, Bender knew he was driving in the right direction. At  kilometer 11 Billy slows to look at mail boxes with hopes of seeing the name Hunter written on the side, no need, just ahead is an entrance with a large wooden gate , and on both sides of the gate are two matching , 14 ft tall  de-barked trees trunks, there is a 3 ft tall banner like wooden sign  that connect the two trunks that reads " HUNTER", pretty hard to miss. Just inside the gate is a small house made of stone and wood with a dark Blue Metal roof, as Billy approached the gate, out popped a Maori looking women carrying  a large set of keys, she smiles with a total of five teeth showing, and ask , " are you Mr Bender?" Billy nod's his head. The women holds the gate open as Billy drives through, Bender stops to thank the gate keeper , and she adds, " stay on the main road for about 3 kilometers, the road follows the river to the main house, you'll be right , no worries", Bender smiles, says thank you , and then continues on a well maintained gravel road that indeed follows  just above a beautiful spring creek like river that Billy soon finds out is named, The Hunter.
With Montana Mark sitting in the back, both girls attack with questions, firing like machine guns during an assault. First Jane ask ," So, where is the sexy swede?, are you two still together?, are you heading down to do the Milford track?, how long do you plan on traveling?, when did you leave the States?" Montana Mark is smoking on the small pipe that Jane handed him as he entered the  Landcruiser, with a breath holding, "well..., exhale, so many questions and so much time,  wow, that is so nice, that hits the spot, thank YOU, now, Anna and I split up that day I met you two! In that small hut, remember, there were two other backpacks, well , it turns out, that two young, really cute Aussie girls were the owners of those packs. After you two hiked off, these two walk into the hut, completely naked, I didn't mind , but Anna thought it was a bit much, she got pissed off, then looked at me and said , "lets go". So, we hiked out  about 30 minutes behind you two. When we got out to the road, Anna told me she was heading North, and as you know, I planned on doing the Milford Track  to the far south, so, she went her way and I went mine." Kelly turned toward the back seat and said" Poor little Anna, don't worry we will take care of you"'

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