There are about a billion different adventure activities you can sign up for in New Zealand. Unfortunately, many of them involve great heights which are not my thing. Why jump off a perfectly stable bridge, building, mountain, etc.? However, today we found earth-based adventures: drift carts and wind-powered sail carts. We arrived at Velocity Karts in the Bexley Preserve just as they were opening for the day. There wasn’t much wind, so they suggested we try the drift carts first. The three-wheeled carts don’t have any traction on the back tires, so you drift around the turns. My specialty (whether intentional or not) was 360s (oh yeah, Grandma’s doing donuts). You kneel in the cart and can use your hips to throw your weight around and get the cart to drift more. Who knew a bit of extra junk in the trunk could be advantageous? We raced around the track for about 20 minutes. We were the only people there, so he gave us more than our allotted three 3-minute sessions. When we got off the carts our legs felt like Jell-O. You don’t realize how many muscles you’re tensing while driving.
The wind was still light, so the proprietor suggested we go down to the pier for a coffee and come back at 12:30 when there should be more wind for the blokarts. A couple other fellows had shown up on foot, so we drove them into town. Raymond and Patrick are from Switzerland and traveling around New Zealand for two months. They don’t have a car, so they’ve been using the local buses and hitchhiking to get around. They said it’s working for them.
The morning was overcast, but the temperature was perfect and the humidity low (Kristin’s way of saying her hair was not frizzy). We strolled along the pier and watched surfers and a couple fishing for crabs.
Back at Velocity, as predicted the wind had picked up. We lost Raymond and Patrick in town so we had the course to ourselves. We geared up in helmets and gloves and got a lesson on driving the blokarts. Let the rope out, pull the rope in. Got it. We started with smaller sails and then advanced to larger sails. It was a kick and our 30-minute session sailed by (yeah, bad pun intended). I would definitely do this again.
Once again we found ourselves looking for lunch a bit late in the afternoon. We stopped at The Twisted Hop in the Woolston suburb of Christchurch. They have a brewery and restaurant. We sampled their brews, a selection of keg and cask beers. The bartender/owner explained that keg beers are served colder and more carbonated because of the higher pressure of the CO2. The cask beers are traditional English style and are fermented in the cask which produces less carbonation. I liked the dark Twisted Ankle cask-conditioned ale and Shawn liked the Hopback IPA.
A block down the street is Three Boys Brewery. We had been told of their Oyster Stout. They actually add raw oysters to the boil for a few hours to give the beer a briny flavor. We’ve been told that when they remove the oysters after boiling for a few hours and dump them on the floor, they end up like hard rubbery golf balls and they call them “floysters” (floor oysters). All staff has to try at least one, and they are nasty. I didn’t taste the oyster in the beer, but the stout was good and we were told it is the most award-winning beer in New Zealand. We also tried The Smoked, Hoppy Porter and White IPA (a seasonal beer brewed with mandarin oranges, very tasty).
Velocity Karts – 5 Kiwis
The Twisted Hop – 4.5 Kiwis (the food was great)
Three Boys – 4 Kiwis
Steps taken = 4,054
Beers sampled = 11
Aftershocks = many, highest 3.8
Flat tires changed by Shawn = 1