The "So" Hotel is this really funky, modern hotel with a backpacker feel to it and boasts all the inovative technology. This includes sunrise lighting to wake you and waterfalls on your widescreen television to relax you. This comes with an ambience of musical electronica permeating every hallway. The hotel is so wonderful that it beckons you to spend lots of money, including small courses of food at $NZ25. I highly recommend the turkish kebab next door!! Christchurch is a really modern city with an English feel to it and is so like my home town ADELAIDE (Australia), that I don't feel like I am overseas - it's similiar to travelling to another Australian province. My journey to the west coast of the South Island begins tommorrow, with a crossing of Arthur's Pass at 924 metres. I am very pensive and the thought of leaving all this comfort behind and having to endure mountain passes and rain or snow daunts me. Modern Western cities make me restless, the sameness and all the material temptations contrast with my travel philosophy of simplicity. In two days I should be camped by a grassy patch, next to a sapphire blue river surrounded by mountains on all sides. The meditation of cycling in cool clean air and living in the moment seems unreachable. I want the New Zealand air to cup me with its hands and glide me along to my destination. Like most journeys our dreams are often better than the reality and the reality can be a dream. Keep reading and together we may find out.
*THE HOTEL IS VERY BICYCLE FRIENDLY AND ALLOWS FULLY ASSEMBLED TOURING BIKES INTO THE ROOMS. THERE IS A BIKE DISPLAY AT THE FRONT DESK WITH LARGE MOUNTAIN BIKE PHOTOGRAPHS.