Tuesday, Dec. 14
Matt and I have spent the past two nights in Addington Prison in Christchurch.
Luckily, we were given a jail cell together.
We’re in cell block 28.
It’s not as bad as it sounds – we have really comfortable bunk beds and we’re right beside the bathrooms.
And the kitchen here is pretty good, too.
Well – it should be, considering how much we paid to stay here.
Addington Prison was transformed into Jailhouse Accommodation a few years ago.
Since being built in 1874, it has held approximately 60,409 prisoners.
It was only a short-term facility – the longest an inmate stayed was one year and five months.
The jail closed its doors in 1999 because it was too close to the city and was no longer suitable to house dangerous inmates.
But it reopened in September 2006 as a backpackers hostel. It now rooms up to 83 travellers a night.
This is the best hostel we’ve stayed in yet.
While it’s a little creepy, the comfortable beds (designed for the athletes at the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games) and the fully equipped kitchen make up for it.
There’s even a cell a few doors down that’s in its original state.
The whole experience here has been great.
Even getting to the hostel was wonderful.
A young woman at the airport, who was a backpacker in the past, offered to pay for our taxi when she saw how lost we were. She took us right to the door. (Her business pays for all of her taxi rides, so technically, her boss took us right to the door.)
So we have vowed to pay it forward.
In a few minutes we’re heading out to get our camper van.
We’re excited to have our own space and transportation for a full four weeks.
And we can’t wait to see the mural on the side of our ride.
While it might be hard to access the internet from campsites to update the blog, we promise to stay out of trouble and out of jail on our journey.