The ground is definately shaking..

Trip Start Nov 16, 2011
Trip End Jul 28, 2012

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Flag of New Zealand  , South Island,
Friday, January 27, 2012

27th – 29th January 2012


When you first head into Christchurch you can see that the city was once very pretty with dedicated green spaces and a huge botanical gardens just as the guide books describe, but when you head towards the centre of the city you realise just how devastating the big earthquake has been for the city. There is a designated red zone for the city which is cordoned off to the public because the buildings are unsafe, this city was not designed to withstand the earthquakes and some of the fault lines that have been found were not previously known about according to some of the kiwis.

Our bus driver who dropped us off in Christchurch told us that there have been over 7000 earthquakes since September 2011 – January 2012 and then the shuttle driver told us there had been over 10,000 and he actually lives here, it has made the rebuild of the city so difficult for the local people and it will not be possible to finish until the earthquakes stop. The main problem for  the residents east of the city has been liquefaction which is when water is pushed to the surface through the concrete and creates an oil like substance that has filled many houses any ruined them. The shuttle bus driver has told us that some areas will never be built on again. It's so sad as this city did not expect this just like we wouldn’t in the UK.

When we got to Christchurch we wondered around the city for a bit and firstly we saw the red zone where buildings had smashed windows and some were leaning slightly or were damaged in some way, the place had literally been left as it had fallen( some cafes had chairs outside) apart from some demolished areas. We then walked further along the riverside to an area where the local shops had come up with an amazing idea, they had temporarily made makeshift shops,banks and cafes out of shipping containers! The containers had been designed to look pretty as well.

Christchurch botanical gardens were beautiful and untouched by the recent earthquakes just a few footsteps down the road. We had a lovely picnic in the gardens on our second day there and fed the baby ducks which would come right up to you and literally jump in the air for the bread…I have never seen a duck jump before it was really funny.

We got back to our hostel room to start packing at around 3:40 and about 10 minutes after arriving back to our room the building started shaking, it felt very gentle but the building was properly swaying and it took a few seconds for Andy and I to realise we were in a small quake, it was small but big enough for us to feel. The earthquake only lasted for about 30 seconds and there was no damage but it was such a weird sensation.
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