Across the Ditch in 2012: The Beginning of the End

Tuesday saw us start towards Christchurch, though not aiming to get there. We didn’t get too far down the road before we saw a sign to the Moeraki Boulders so we stopped for a look. This would have been a lot nicer without the rain but cool rocks and a nice spot anyway.

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The next sign we followed, to an “historic site”, took us to Totara Estate – the first property in New Zealand to ship frozen meat to England. A great story and well presented.

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Oamaru became an addition to the “next time” list. It looks lovely but wasn’t the place to explore on a cold, wet day. So we settled for a very nice lunch of oxtail soup, Colonial Goose (which is actually lamb leg stuffed with apricots, herbs and spices, marinated in red wine and sliced in a port and red wine gravy) for Stu and a Ploughman’s Lunch for me. Despite being bloated, I couldn’t resist the lavender and honey brûlée for dessert.

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We found a motel in Temuka for the night and Stu found a tackle shop – of course he did – and the suggestion that he try the fishing in the channels at Lake Tekapo. Guess we’ll head in that direction first thing in the morning.

Wednesday and yes, that’s exactly what we did, but once again without success. We stopped at the YHA and left them with most of our food and supplies so they wouldn’t go to waste before more or less making a beeline towards Christchurch, stopping for lunch at Geraldine on the way.

We found our hotel, the Sudima. I suppose it could have been closer to the airport – if it had been in the actual terminal. A basic room in a large, slightly impersonal, motel but the staff are efficient, the room comfortable and it’s very convenient to the airport.

Stu’s cousin lives in Christchurch so she picked us up and took us on a tour of the town and some of the worst of the earthquake damage. A lot of the buildings look perfectly fine on the surface. Hard to believe they have to be demolished. This image of Crowne Plaza shows it part way though its demolition.

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We were surprised by the Restart Mall – shops and businesses that have reopened and are operating out of shipping containers. Brilliant.

Dinner at the West Coast Bar and Grill finished off the day.

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