Friday, February 6, 2009

NZ Day 3: One lane is enough

Today all bridges were only single lane. We had taken the inland road from Hamner to Kaikura. A very nice route through scarcely populated farmland. Now in summer all seemed nice and quiet, but judging from the enormous riverbeds there must be quite some action going on when the snow melts in the mountains. It seems that the government didn't want to spend all that much money on that road, so it built all the bridges only one lane wide. For medium size bridges this works very well, as anyone waiting on the other side can be seen easily. There was one bridge though that was so wide, that the other side was difficult to see at all, not to speak of making out whether there was a car or not. Instead of adding a set of lights to the bridge, they built in two 'car crossing locations'. Which has the advantage of not requiring any power and also keeping the thrill for drivers crossing the bridge at a much higher level. Confirming the thrill hypothesis there were to large road signs at the entrance of the bridge reminding the thrill-seekers that the speedlimit on the bridge was 100 km/h.

That whole one lane bridge policy seems to be a matter of principle, since one of the one lane bridges was maybe only 2 meters long and it was probably more expensive having all the signaling put up to alert the drivers about proper one-lane-bridge behavior than just building a normal bridge.

In the food department, Regula had an interesting experience today. After lunch she ordered a cappuccino. It looked very tasty and it came with a very special treat. The picture does not capture the color all that well, it did look much more yellow when that cappuccino was sitting on the table. But then again it may just be us, being Swiss and thus having the totally wrong associations wired in.

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