Sent to jail!!

Trip Start Aug 24, 2008
Trip End Jul 07, 2009

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Flag of New Zealand  ,
Saturday, May 23, 2009

We had breakfast in Hobart and then then took the bus to the airport. We arrived to find our flight delayed by two hours, but eventually we took off and landed safely, 3 hours later, in Christchurch. A very cute little sniffer dog sat down next to my bag (uh oh!), and so I had my lovely paper flower lantern from Laos confiscated (you can't take plant material into New Zealand) for the whole time we are here. I paid $15 to have it put into storage until I can pick it up when we leave for Fiji.

We arrived at 1am, although it was only 11pm for us, and checked into our very cool hostel, in an old prison. we slept in a cell with bars on the window, and barbed wire on the toilet seats. It reminded me of the opening sequence of Porridge.

The next day we caught up on some sleep, because we were a little confused by the time difference. We went for breakfast in a cafe, although they had stopped serving breakfast, so we had to have lunch. We went into town to inquire about car hire, and it was freezing cold, raining and the wind was howling so we went back to the jailhouse to use the internet. We had fish and chips for dinner - yummy! after dinner we looked around the jail at some of the cells that have been left in their original condition, complete with rude graffiti on the wall and a toilet in the corner. The hostel stopped being a jail in 1999.

The following day we got up early and got our rental car sorted. Unfortunately they won't let me drive the car because I don't have an actual license with me, just a copy, so David has to do all the driving, but he is excited about driving wiggly mountain roads. We went for a huge breakfast where I had American style pancakes with what looked like ice cream, but turned out to be butter. Feeling stuffed, we set off on a walking tour of Christchurch. We started in Cathedral Square where we looked at the statues and went inside the cathedral. The cathedral had a wooden ceiling which gave it a Christmassy feel, especially with the choral music playing and the Christmas decorations on sale in the gift shop! We climbed the tower for a nice view over the city and then went for a walk along the Avon river. It was a pretty, peaceful stroll through the city, past the boat sheds and eventually to the botanical gardens. There it started tipping with rain so we ran inside the nearest building, which turned out to be the Canterbury Museum. We ended up spending two hours in there, learning about the Maori and the history of Antarctic exploration. We had hot soup in the cafe and then continued the walking tour past churches and parks back to the square where we started. We went to the supermarket for supplies and then returned to jail where we had curry for dinner and planned tomorrow's route.
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