Riding a bus with a hangover is never a fun endeavor. But, sometimes despite ones best efforts, it just can't be avoided. The night before this not-so-joyous journey was my last night in Queenstown and my roommates for the last two weeks were adament on not letting me leave without a fight. We had become a tightknit group over the previous few weeks; even before stopping in Queenstown. So, they had decided to take me out to enjoy the local nightlife, keep me up way too late, and hopefully I would miss my bus bound for Christchurch in the morning. Somehow, someway, I made my bus in the morning, but was not exactly thrilled to be partaking in the 9 hour roadtrip to my next stopping point. After finally making it to Christchurch I had decided that instead of making my way back up to Auckland and then flying to Australia, as I had originally planned, I would fly out of Christchurch and into Melbourne. New Zealand had been a wonderful experience, but I was burning through way too much money while there. I knew Australia wouldn't be any less expensive, so after waying the pros and cons of exiting New Zealand earlier than I had anticipated, I booked a flight for Melbourne. Choosing the city to fly into was a chore all by itself. I had been going back and forth in my head for weeks about what route to take while I was exploring Australia and finally settled on starting in Melbourne and working my way up the east coast. I wasn't sure if I would get to see Perth and Uluru by doing this, but as much as I hate to admit it, money must dictate the choses we make in life, every once and a while at least. While in Oz, I am hoping to visit the east coast until I made it to the city of Cairns and then fly from there to Bali. Time will tell if the plan will come to fruition or not. Anyways, my time in Christchurch wasn't as well spent as I would have hoped. I became ill the first day in town and didn't sleep the first three nights. Laying my head down on the pillow when my body told me it was time for bed proved to be an incredibly difficult task each time I tried. Horrible coughing fits ensued each time I attempted to sleep. So I just ended up, as one of my friends likes to say, 'getting on the online' every night and sleeping most of the day. When I was able to walk around the city I saw one that was still smarting from the huge earthquake that occured approximately six weeks earlier. Scaffolding, fences, blocked off roads, and disfigured buildings dotted the city streets that I strolled around on. I enjoyed the overall layout and architechture of Christchurch and wish I could have spent a bit more time engaging in some of the activities that it would have provided. I had mixed feelings about leaving New Zealand. I loved the experience and meeting the new friends I had made along the way, but was ready for a new country to explore. There are still sights in New Zealand that I want to see, so a return trip will have to be in my future someday. I'm sure the same will hold true with Australia, as I already know that I will be unable to visit all of the places there that I want to. But, that's what happens when you aren't even on country #2 of what you hope is a journey around the world. Sacrifices of smaller wishes must be made to keep the overall dream intact. That should just about do it for New Zealand.....now on to Australia.