Let's get ready to rumble!

Trip Start Sep 01, 2010
Trip End Jun 18, 2011

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Flag of New Zealand  , South Island,
Wednesday, October 20, 2010

So today is the day we head to Christchurch, feeling quite nervous especially since yesterday's huge aftershock. We set off and the two hour drive to the city and arrived at about lunchtime. The first thing that hit us was how huge Christchurch is, after weeks of being in tiny one-horse towns Christchurch looked like the biggest sprawling metropolis that either of us had ever seen. We parked up and headed into the city centre for a look around. We were both walking quite tentatively as neither of us could forget that, even though the city was lovely and peaceful and the birds were tweeting sweetly, at any moment that whole thing could blow with another earthquake. Just walking down the street was nerve-wracking and we were both hoping that if there was going to be a little rumble it would happen soon just so we could get an idea of what it would feel like... the worst part was just waiting for it to happen. The whole city centre was full of construction work on the damaged buildings and every building had either a white or red notice posted in its window to tell you whether it was safe to go inside. It was quite difficult to know whether the construction work was due to the earthquake or whether it had nothing to do with it, but either way the whole city seemed to be having some kind of work done to it. As we were walking down the street Tom thought he felt a rumble beneath his feet! To be honest I thought it was just a lorry driving down the street, but Tom was sure it was an aftershock...we're still not sure what it was but whatever it was it didn't help settle our nerves. My spirits were lifted when we found a great little book shop hidden above a cafe, but once again our minds were taken back to the quake when we heard a man tell his wife that he wouldn't go up the rickety stairs to the bookshop in case an aftershock hit. Before too long we found ourselves in the centre of the city and feeling throughly lost! So we went for a wander around to help us get our barings and spent the rest of the afternoon looking around the city's art gallery, which was very nice if not a little confusing (I never understand modern art!). In the evening we headed to our campsite and meet some really nice people who were staying there too. One couple in particular were really sweet; they had been travelling around the world for the last 7 years and were used to meeting straglers like us and before we knew it were sitting up all night chatting and sharing their wine and ice-cream! It really lifted our spirits to meet such nice people but all the talk of traveling and our families and knowing that we are getting ready to leave New Zealand gave me my first really big kick of homesickness (the wine probably didn't help either)! So we headed off to bed with a strange feeling of happiness, sadness, excitement and tipsiness! Oh well, at least we probably won't notice if there are any rumbles tonight :)
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