Arrived at last

Trip Start Nov 09, 2011
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of New Zealand  , South Island,
Saturday, February 18, 2012


we woke to
blue skies, sun on the mountain tops and strange bird calls this
morning..possibly the Kea..! and it was so so cold in the van..we
were 3000ft up and had mountains rising to 6000ft around us so it was
pretty bleak but beautiful..

we set off
to continue along the sh73 to porters pass. This is the start of the
mountain range from the Christchurch side we stopped to see excellent
views over the big Ben range and the valley ahead..the road is very
steep here and we watched huge double articulated log lorries using
the gears to try and stay safe. We had to do the same as Robin said
3rd gear was not holding us and it was sheer drop my side
as the road twisted and turned down the mountain side..we soon
reached the bottom and now were faced with hours of flat farmland
again, past Springfield, waimakariri gorge, Oxford and Rangiora where
we stopped for provisions before stopping for lunch at woodend beach.

Here the
car park is hidden in a wood so no beach view but a walk later proved
worth it as we had our first view of the east coast and the pacific
ocean crashing onto the vast stretch of sandy beach in the south
island.. the beach was empty as the wind was very cold and very
strong blowing sand into our faces a bit but we could still see
Christchurch in the distance..

into christchurch we began to see the signs....road closed...
earthquake damage...unsafe buildings etc etc..the roads had huge
splits that had been temorarily filled with tar, the houses were
desserted and had cracks down the sides and broken was
sad to see that even after a year the place was still devestated...we
arrived at Brighton hoilday park just outside the city where we
stayed the night...

by the way
guys I am going start to put up some pictures up with the van in from
a long distance see if can you spot it ...just for fun good day...

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fred on

Even with the worst NZ summer it look to me you are having a great time. The photo's are good . look forward to seeing you again

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