Sunday, February 26, 2012

Cheviot to Christchurch

We left Cheviot around 7.50am, temperature was 11 degrees,quite cool but still a nice morning.Took a detour off the highway to Hurunui Mouth it was 8.15am when we got there ,heaps of people fishing for Salmon( pink variety)

Flax seed pods

The sand was nearly black,a fellow we got talking to said a man comes from Hokitika & gets scoop loads to take back to mine for gold.The sand goes from grey once you leave Blenhiem to dark grey/ black as you get further along.

We saw a Stoat (pest) run across the road at Tormore one of the culprits for killing native wild life here in New Zealand....just thought I'd share that bit of trivia.

Decided to stay in Christchurch at the Admiral Motel $125 a night,as it was really too early to go to the room we went into town to go to the isite...that was way too busy so we had a look around the Botanical Gardens.It's been along time since I have been there, but the gardens are just beautiful with the Avon river flowing through it .The Festival of Flowers was on,so there were a few art type pieces to see.

 One of the Festival of Flowers exhibits

Some of the damage done by the earthquakes

We decided to find out where we had to leave our Mr Jucy the next day, as well as seeing if the motel we were staying at then would let us drop our bags of early tomorrow,before we got rid of the car.The motel was very obliging & said it would be fine to leave our bags.Mr Jucy was near the Antarctic Center,which is one of  the tourist things I wanted to do.

The  Antarctic Centre  cost us  $130 for the two of us as we got the top pass.When you buy your ticket they give you a timetable of the different things that are on,half an hour after we arrived was our Hagglund ride,so we had a look around till it was time for that.The center was well set up with a mass of information & once again never enough time to fully enjoy the whole center.

Peter looking at one of the displays

The Hagglund ride was great,this  is a vehicle they use in the Antarctic especially designed for the conditions there.Our driver was great,full of personality,he gave us some info on the vehicle & what it is designed for.

 The Hagglund we went on

In amphibious mode

So we went up a very steep incline then over a crevice .As these are amphibious we also took to the water ,with it coming half way up the door,great experience.We went back inside after the ride to look at more of the displays,then it was time for the "Snow Storm" where you put a jacket on & go into this special room,which is already minus something,then the wind chill factor is turned up till it is so very cold & blowing,goes for 5 minutes.You can leave at any time through the exit,Peter had shorts on,so he was a lot colder than me.

Igloo inside the "Snow Storm" room

After that little experience was over we went to watch the 4 D movie which was amazing ,in fact at times you were splashed in the face with water when the boat splashed water as well as other times,you also had the feeling of thi gs coming out of the screen at you....I really enjoyed the movie'the whole place was great....worth a visit for sure.

After our Antarctic adventure we decided to stop for lunch at "The Running Bull" we had pizzas & they were delicious & only $12..that was a bonus.

Decided to take a trip out to Lyttelton just a short drive out of Christchurch ,it sustained a fair bit of damage with the earthquakes as well.

Lyttelton was the location for most of the exterior scenes in Peter Jackson's 1996 horror movie The Frightners...just a little bit of trivia for you

 The Lyttelton Tunnel is 1.9 km long & is the country's longest tunnel

"In the 1970s Lyttelton Port was chosen as one of the main ports in the South Island to be dredged and upgraded for containerisation, with the container facility opening in 1977, the centenary of the initial opening"

When we got back to town we went back to the Motel to clean out Mr Jucy & repack everything ready for the morning.After we were organized we took a walk back into the city to have a look at some of the damage from the earthquakes,it was around 4pm now.The worst affected area,the CBD was fenced off & called the "Red Zone" we couldn't really see much,just the odd building with damage.The area is patrolled by police for looters,I find that so sad.


Some of the devastation caused by the earthquakes

Temporary shipping container mall

Re:START have used shipping containers to create a temporary retail center on the site of the shopping mall destroyed in the Christchurch earthquake.

Clicking on map will enlarge it

 Map showing the Red Zone & where we walked from our accommodation

We made our way back to the Motel & cooked up the last of our meat for tea,decided to leave the last of our groceries there for the cleaner.

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