Downbeat Christchurch and Canada?

Trip Start Sep 06, 2011
Trip End Oct 24, 2011

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What I did
Botanic Gardens, Earthquake damage, England vs Romania

Flag of New Zealand  , Canterbury,
Friday, September 23, 2011

After wasting no time getting out of horrible Greymouth it was my turn to Drive again... up the mountain path we went, through Arthurs pass. All the roads here are pretty much one lane, and windy mountain paths with lorries carry two trailers seems a bit insane to me, but hey this country is pretty much bonkers. The road through was stunning and amazingly as soon as we left Greymouth the weather became pretty good again. Arthur's pass is pretty awesome drive, I felt like a rally driver at times, although Matt told me I wasn't aloud to over take anything on the stretch nicknamed 'Deaths Corner', just aswell really, there were some sharp corners.
    Eventually we rocked up in Christchurch, found a nice motel to stay in, fairly close to the city center and went for a walk. Chirstchurch reminded me of my home city of Oxford, it was historic, the parks were nice, and before the earthquake you could go punting. After walking around the gardens, we ventured into the center via the museum just before closing. We carried on into the center, and the atmosphere was to no surprise depressing, it felt like we were on a sinking ship (as they are still getting after shocks). The actual center itself was closed off, but you can see ruins of old building fallen down, even outside the center was damaged buildings. It wasn't a pleasant feeling and I even felt bad going to take a look.
    The next day, we found the perfect pick me up... road trip down to Dunedin, back to mini England for another messy weekend watching England play! Checked back into our hostel on the friday night and descended down onto the Octagon. This weekend was different though, as this weekend we were meeting friends from home, including the one and only Charlie Surman. I love Charlie Surman. When Charlie, Emma and Amy rolled up, they bought along another Buckingham Swan, Katie Clark (what a lad!! Whhheeyyyy!!) and her travel friend Maggie. The whole weekend got a bit messy and we met up with some of the lads we had been with the week before on match day, before watching probably the best England performance thus far in beating Romania, before back to the Octagon for more drinking, did not feel great the next day, and as Mr Dye had the earlier bed times than myself he found himself driving back to Christchurch rather than me.
    Back in Christchurch we had two things to do, meet up with Matt's family friends who now live over here, and meet up with our batty Canadian friend... 'Canada' or Jen. To be honest I told her I would big her up in my blog, as i made her sound like a crazy person the first time.. well she is a bit crazy, but she is also one cool cat too. We wish we could keep her! The night itself was pretty chilled out, went to the fan zone there, met up with everyone, then started to freeze so we left with Canada to get some pizza, and back to bed early, as we were heading up to Kaikora to watch some whales in the morning!
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