Trip Start Aug 01, 2003
66Trip End Sep 20, 2004
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Tuesday 4th November
Due to high seas and bad weather the whale watching tour was cancelled, we decided to drive south to Christchurch where it was sunny and sophisticated. Strolled along the river Avonthrough the botanical gardens and into town. As we're coming back to Christchurch at Christmas we didn't stay long but it looks like a nice place.
After a tour of Bexley salt marsh I've decided to impose a ban on wetlands/ estuaries/ marshes.
Wednesday 5th November
South of Christchurch is the Banks Penninsula. The weather was akin to a warm English summers day and we walked up the sides of a green, grassy valley with only sheep for company. It was all very Jane Austen, shame I left by riding boots at home. At the end of the walk was a hill which had great views out to sea and back over the Canterbury plain.
Stayed the night in the only part of New Zealand that was initially colonised by the French. A poor choice for Guy Fawkes Night as the Frenchies had no interest in Fireworks. The Top 10 Motor park was situated overlooking the town and bay. Watched the sunset.
Thursday 6th November
Onewa Pa is a thin strip of land that snakes out into the bay near Akaroa. It was previously fortified by the Maoris. The only evidence remaining is a number of large boulders which provide a good place to sit. The water was like glass.
Left Banks penninsula with Nirvana followed by Radiohead playing on the radio. The music was depressing as was the drive to Mt. Potts (another LOTR filmsite). The location, when you get there is breathtaking. Mountains ringing a small plain criss-crossed by numerous stony rivers. After gagging on dust and being jolted on the unsealed roads for an hourit was difficult to call it enjoyable especially as it was another long drive on to our next stop Peel Forest.
Saw a big tree and cooked outdoors at the most basic of campsites yet. It went dark at 8pm, no tv room, no lounge only a dimly lit Bongo. I asked Jane if we should 'get the cards out'.