Trip Start Feb 16, 2011
113Trip End Jun 11, 2012
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Where I stayed
Well the last night in Melbourne was very nice because Tyson, Linda and myself went out to The Rose Hotel in Brunswick for dinner followed by a drink at The Standard around the corner. Having left Linda behind without her crumpets, Tyson and I caught the tram into town and had one last drink at a backpacker pub. I went back to Southbank and got ready for the next morning.
I got up at 6am and after saying goodbye to Liz, I went to Southern Cross Station to catch the Skybus to the airport. After the joys of customs/checkin I had to wait until a few of the late planes could land before I could board my flight which left 30 minutes late but still arrived on time thanks to a good tailwind. The flight was uneventful except for the 2 minutes silence that the pilot requested to honor the memory of those who perished in the earthquake a week earlier
With no shuttle buses running, I shared a taxi with another traveller and the driver told us a bit about what had been happening since the earthquake. There were a number of cracks in the road which we had to drive around and plenty of piles of rubble and mounds of dirt from the soil liquification which had now turned to dust. I arrived at the Kiwi Basecamp on Bealey Avenue to find that the church across the street looked more like a barn with no walls and the pub on the corner was in the process of having the front of it torn down. It was all quite bizarre with the NZ army guards blocking every street into the city centre. There wasn't much to do but have a few drinks thanks to the local bottleshop having a discount sale. At 11pm there was a noticeable aftershock which sounded like distant thunder and then somebody rocking the table gently.
Not having showered because of the contaminated water, I caught the Akaroa Shuttle at 10am the next day which was nice and quiet save for the driver's singing (no bad actually). I arrived at Bon Accord and caught up with Silke who is now working next door at the jade jewellery shop. After a coffee on the waterfront, I came back to the hostel to relax for the afternoon. I'm looking forward to the dinner her partner is cooking for us tonight!