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Published: March 21st 2013
Once again we arrived to our new location with rain. We arrived at Le Petite Inn around 10pm - Al was hungry and thought about ordering in a pizza, but the Inn keeper said there was nothing open at 10pm on a Sunday night -- as if he were crazy! It was interesting getting to the inn - we rented a car - it is not easy to drive on the opposite side of the road for the 1st time when it's dark and rainy. He did very well, but its a really good thing we had GPS to get us there!
The next morning started out very interesting. We headed off to akaroa and were using the GPS directions as we started to climb the hills outside of Christchurch...only to find that the mountain pass that we were to take was closed due to a massive rock slide! The it told us to try another road, it too was closed as there was just no longer a road at all! Eventually, we found roads that were not closed, but were socked in with clouds, making visibility extremely low - so much for good views this drive. The village was
quite small and sat right along a huge bay - probably picturesque when we did not need an umbrella. Not overly impressed with stop #1. When we retuned it cleared enough for me to take a stroll down the beachfront directly across from our inn - the beach had tons of mussel and clam shells scattered everywhere! Definitely need to order these here!
Day 2, still cloudy and rainy 😞. Either way we headed into the city center to explore the "red zone" - epicenter of the February 2011 earthquake. We started of at the mall, which was a small area of large shipping containers that have been turned into stores and are brightly painted. Quite a creative use for the containers. On the way to the city, there are containers also stacked up along the roads, these keep the boulders and rocks from the cliff wall off the roads - these are everywhere! The city itself is just in a state of disrepair. It is quite sad to see the destruction that happened from the quake. They have big plans for the future, but it will take at least a decade to two to do that.
thing we noticed in NZ is the high price of Everything! a burrito = $23. Gatorade = $4.90. iPad = $1200. 1 liter of gas = $2.18 (remember 4L/gallon!) Milk = $2.99/Liter! Not sure how ppl afford to live here! That night we met up with friend from grad school at CMU! She has been living here the last 8 months. It was nice to catch up and she suggested we make the trek to Kaikora the following morning - we did just that 😊
Kaikora was beautiful! It also stopped raining by now, which was a nice change. This part of the South Island is "where the forests meet the sea." The city name means "to eat lobster!" Well, actually rock lobster - only difference is that they don't have claws. We then took a track (trail) to the other side of the peninsula - no pictures downloaded just yet, but so pretty..great views around every corner!
We also found a great sea food restaurant in Lyttleton. It was owned by a couple, she was from California that was our best meal here by far!
Now off to Sydney for the final leg of our trip
- no complaints so far!
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