Tuesday, November 19, 2013
I should have listened to my former roommates when they said that Invercargill is “crap.” I also should have been slightly more alarmed when there were only seven people on the bus down here from Gore, myself and the bus driver included. I started to notice that the drive seemed much more commercialized than the rest of New Zealand I have seen, and it didn’t get any better once we arrived in the actual city. It’s quiet here. But not in a quaint and charming Te Anau kind of way. It’s an Invercargill kind of quiet in the industrial and boring kind of way.
When I checked into my hostel and asked the girl at the front desk what she suggests I do while I’m here, I seriously think she was trying to keep from laughing. She sent me on my way to Queens Park, and I walked down a loud traffic street, past abandoned buildings and turned left at the McDonald’s before I reached the gardens. Finally! I found something pretty in Invercargill! (Note my happy face in the picture.) This park has to be the only beauty brought to this dingy old place.
I was so thankful for a beautiful sunny day to walk among the colorful blooms, or else I would literally have no idea what else to do here. My bus departs for Dunedin at 8:45am tomorrow, and I am already starting the countdown. I can certainly think of worse places in the world to be, but Invercargill is not what I had in mind when I pictured New Zealand. You may think, well why did I even stop here? And quite honestly, I do not know. On the map, it looked like the next legitimate stop over from Te Anau, but I did not realize until after the fact that both of my buses from Te Anau and to Dunedin both swap in Gore. Apparently people really only pass through Invercargill when they are en route to Bluff and/or Stewart Island, neither of which I will be visiting right now. Oh, well. You live, you learn. If anyone asks me how I enjoyed my visit to Invercargill though, I think I might just point to my sweaty arm pit and let them try to figure out the rest. Not the grossest part of your body, but certainly not the most desirable. Cheers!