Day 29: Dunedin/Akaroa: November 26th:
A nasty system has set in and it is rainy and cold! 10-15 degrees :( we left our hotel and made our way to the worlds steepest street. We drove by a few side streets ion the way and thought it was no big deal... Until we saw it!!!! We were laughing our faces off as we drove up it - so steep. Grumpy Gus was at the top waiting so we quickly went down again. We stopped for sandwich groceries and hit the highway. We stopped in Omaru to visit the Whitestone cheese factory! We had a tasting and adored - bought a few! We stopped at a lovely park for our picnic and arrived in Akaroa. We did our usual post travel waterfront if possible beer and off to find accommodations. We settled on the Akaroa village in - lovely room! Off we went for dinner to the little bistro - a tiny bustling little place! We had a nice dinner in NZ at a French restaurant by a Welsh chef. I had a bit of a crabby night - too much food and wine I think! Saare now calls me Balrog - he thinks it's very clever as it's a fire breathing cave dwelling monster in LOTR that kills things. Bahahaha. We walked through the quiet streets in the mist and the watched the amazing NZ/England rugby game where NZ Won at the last moment!
The last 2 days!!!! Christchurch:
We woke up to what sounded like spaceships landing - it was tour busses arriving to collect the visitors from the cruise ship tenders! They no longer go to Christchurch so they stop in Akaroa and bus. It was so busy!! We had a little brekky, visited the statue of Frank Worsley right downtown in the park, and tried to find out about his exhibit in the museum. But it had been hit by the earthquake and only parts were open, his exhibit wasn't. Darn! We drove along the windy roads and were sad to miss the view - up in the clouds. We knew it was gorgeous bays from yesterday. We stopped in Lyttleton, an artsy town. We went to a bar mid day - a makeshift container bar with a group of locals. Another delicious hand pump pint. We made our way to Christchurch and had a lovely evening with an earthquake tour, then delicious dinner with Marty and Patrice, and her kids :) the boys golfed in the morning and Patrice and I walked along the park and saw the earthquake damage and visited the earthquake containers - makeshift shipping containers made into cafés, lululemon, very amazingly ingenuous considering the massive damage. We watched a few videos too so I had an understanding go why roads were potholes, bridges bucked, buildings crumbled. Terrifying. Hard to hold back a tear when we passed the 185 white chair memorial. Saare golfed with Marty. We had a fun dinner and.... I must end this journal. One of the times of our lives. Bye New Zealand, you have made our lives that much better