Christchurch and France (kind of)

Posted on January 1, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized |

So when finished with Stray we were left in Christchurch. We stayed just the one night before setting off to Akaroa which is a french colony town of sorts, a beautiful harbour surrounded by rolling hills. It's French because the French settled here back in the day (as our lovely Stray driver Honey would say), and the British couldn't get it back or somthing? Whatever, I forget the history. Ask James. Anyways, its pretty. We stayed there in a delightful backpackers lodge on the main street of the town for two nights. The highlight of the trip was a trip to go penguin watching. About 40mins from the town is a bay called Flea Bay which is privately owned, and which is home, at the right time of year, to about 1,000 white flippered penguins. They are a particular sub-species only found there, and they're awesome. The lady that owns the land is passionate about them and does alot to protect them, building hundreds of nesting boxes for them so they won't fight over the natural ones, for example, and setting traps for their predators. She also takes small groups (there were 3 of us) to see them and uses the funds to upkeep the boxes etc. Here is a baby in one of the boxes (she checks up on all the boxes every couple of days):
 

We also hung out in hides, trying to spot the adults coming in to bask on the rocks and come in to sleep. Here is a picture of one of the adults hanging out on a rock, and the one below is a very blurry pic of a whole lot of them blurring it up. There are more on Flickr if you are interested. Click on one of the pics to get there.

After two days of delightful scenery and quaint Frenchness, we returned to Christchurch. Christchurch (or ChCh) is the second largest city in New Zealand after Auckland, but it still feels like a large town. We liked it very much, not least because they're rugby crazy here:

Yes, a countdown to the world cup in 2011! This is in Cathedral Square, the centre of the city. The cathedral for which it is named is pretty but unassuming from the outside, but from the inside is simply lovely. Stained glass windows, mosaics, and excellent carved works abound. Christchurch also has a delightful botanic gardens, where we wiled away a few hours, and an excellent art gallery.

One of my personal highlights in Christchurch was getting crafty again: this time I went bone carving with The Bone Dude. It was so much fun, from designing my own necklace to sanding and filing, to polishing up the finished piece. Here are two pictures to give you a flavour:

After a total of 5 days and 3 separate trips to ChCh, we were done, and on a flight to Christmas and to Wellington.

xR

Posted via email from dreadpiratesarcas

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