Rest is not getting up until after noon. It's pouring, so looks like
I won't be doing any of the several hikes I'd planned for today.
No worries: the Monteith's brewery tour starts soon. Like Philadelphia's Yard's brewery tour, this is more about tasting beer than exploring the intricacies of the surprisingly complex art of beermaking. Even with ~45 of the ~50 people on the tour being senior citizens, it's a lot of tasty fun. The tour guide even leaves myself and some other backpackers alone with the ~7 beers on tap. The fact that I can only sip instead of chug is the biggest disadvantage of having rented a car.
The tour, or more accurately the tasting, runs long and I give 3 fellow backpackers rides back to town, so it's after 4 before I get on the road. In spite of racing to try and make Arthur's Pass in the light, I'm still on mountains in dark. I have to go frustratingly slow with the rain, but I'm in Christchurch by ~half past 7.
WTF is with W.O.T.W.? My entertainment for the night is more than mildly disappointing. Hollywood's really in trouble if Spielberg and Cruise's big-ticket hit of the summer is this incoherent piece of action-packed silliness. Apparently Tom's good looks make him unhittable by alien death rays, able to talk his way through barricades of armed soldiers, and tough enough to kill a shovel-wielding survivalist with his bare hands. He's also so dead sexy that some army guy rallies a dozen other captives to help save Tom from becoming fertilizer. Never mind that the alien machine just ate somebody else with little to no protest from anybody. Somebody else doesn't do an annoying gaze into the camera every few minutes. I bet Orson Welles is wishing one of his alien death rays would wipe out Hollywood right about now.
Night's end is a few hours spent in a net cafe, trying to catch up on life outside of my travel bubble or at least read Doonesbury and send my family pictures of me bungee jumping. Geeky discovery: there's freeware file-splitting software that'll let me use gmailfs for files bigger than 10 mb, providing convenient storage for my bungee videos. Just weird is my discovery of 2 shots of nude models as I'm uploading my pictures. It jumps from glaciers to Arthur's Pass to a Hustler magazine cover. I'm really confused for quite awhile, and then I get it: I left my coat at the buffet bar last night with my camera in its pocket. This is definitely weirder but preferable to somebody stealing it.
Finding the car rental office, it's got an awning over parking that does a very nice job of blocking light and noise from the street. I'll call it my deluxe accommodation for the evening:)