Shaken by Christchurch Ruins

Trip Start Sep 05, 2010
Trip End Aug 21, 2011

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Where I stayed
North South Holiday Park

Flag of New Zealand  , South Island,
Friday, May 6, 2011

So, anyone know what day it is yet? The night was strange, waking up every few hours thinking it was morning. The pipe, which we have now worked out is buried beneath our tent, provided curious noises throughout the night and adjusting to airbed with sleeping bag meant that we continued in our spaced out state.

It was 1pm when we finally opened up the tent.  My maths make that 17 hours in the tent, and we are still not sure whether or not we are back on normal time.  One thing we did know is that we were not leaving Christchurch on the bikes in the state that they are in, so off we went after bacon and eggs to find a bike shop.

The bacon and eggs were beautiful.  Campsite cooking in the great outdoors cannot be outdone in my book.  However, the hunt for a bike service looked less promising.  We had already emailed several bike shops only to be told that they could not service the bikes until next week (a waste of several days cycling) so we entered Papanui Bikes with little hope.

We had only come across this place by a randomly chosen route into town and it was indeed the first place we rocked up at.  But Rick was on the case.  He grunted at how badly the bikes had been treated but then set about trying to locate the parts needed to make them roadworthy again.  A few phone calls later, the courier was on the way to deliver the required cogs and shifters, and Rick agreed a pick up time of TOMORROW.  Brilliant, we can start cycling on Sunday.

Ecstatic about sorting out the bikes without any fuss, we set out for town to take in Central Christchurch.  We were in for a shock.  We noticed churches with windows and walls missing.  Then we noticed houses and bigger office block buildings broken in half.  The route into town was fenced off and patrolled by police.  It did not take long to work out that the centre of Christchurch is still completely off limits.  2 months after the quake, the city felt like a ghost town.  We could see down longer stretches of road, piles of rubble where buildings once stood proud.  Having spent the flight into New Zealand planning our sightseeing around Christchurch, we now found ourselves overwhelmed by the devastation which is many months/years? from being patched up.  On the front doors of buildings we saw the solemn word 'clear', confirmation that the building had been checked for bodies following the earthquake.  A police car pulled over to ask us what we were up to. Clearly looting is a massive problem.  We redirected to a coffee shop where we spent an hour getting over the shock.

Some planning of our route and a bus ride out of town, we returned to our tent to find it wide open.  Nothing had gone which suggests that in our ‘cottonwool head’ state, we must have left this morning without zipping up the tent. Another good campfire meal we relaxed to the campsite TV room.  We are still not really with it!

Miles cycled: 4 and finally time for a complete service thanks to Rick at Papanui Cycles
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triciagick on

It certainly does look chilly. We had a very wet and stormy night here which ironically seems very strange after all the sunshine. Still it's not cold and more sun is forecast for tomorrow. Hopefully, you've now got your bikes back and will start your journey away from stricken Christchurch soon. I wish I'd ordered Charlotte to get me a dress for the wedding too - getting in a bit of a panic here, but have a few more days to sort it. Am off shortly to get some excitement put back in my hair - red, copper and blonde should do the trick. Cycle carefully xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Jojo on

The Borneo experience sound just magical and it sounds as if the four of you had a holiday of a lifetime! Very sad reading about Christchurch - somehow looting is the last thing one would associate with New Zealaders. It would just be great if you could get to see Tony and Lindsey (she's a teacher) I know that Hanna and the girls had a great time with them (eleven years ago!)
I am waiting for Tricia to arrive after her hair appointment so we can tackle crossword. Had an amazing time at the Wotton House hotel - it was a stunning massive Tudor pile with the most glorious gardens with grottos and temples. I had the swimming pool, jaccuzi, saun and steam room all to myself with was sheer luxury. It seemed al very grown up for us but loved it had the drive through beautiful country-side. Really looking forward to seeing Charlotte aand Giles to get the low down on what's been going on.
LOL Jojo and CJB

Sandra on

All change again for you both Hope you find some better places to see Poor Christchurch though Love Sandra x x x x

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