Day 18 Christchurch
Our first full day in Christchurch. We had bought some groceries from a late night store last night so decided that we would have breakfast in our suite, or should I say house, cause it's the size of one. Put a load of washing into the machine; it would be silly not to take advantage whilst we've got the use and went out sightseeing. Most of the central city is walking distance from the hotel but there is a free yellow shuttle bus that takes you around so we made full use of that. There is an international busking festival on at the moment which has been going since the 20th and there are acts going on all over the place - in the parks, in the square and basically anywhere there is space. All sorts of different types of acts too from all over the world - trick cyclists from France, cowboys from Texas and loads of others. There is also a Paralympics competition so the city is pretty busy; don't think there are many hotel rooms available which is probably why we got upgraded. We've found a good supermarket so we now know where to stock up tomorrow when we collect the campervan, prices are pretty similar to here so that's good. Managed to get a good recommendation to a nail technician so had my nails done; apparently there aren't very many in New Zealand, esp. on the South Island so I was lucky. Hopefully they will last now till we get to Wellington, four weeks though so it will be a bit of a record if they do. Had our first fresh rather than frozen NZ lamb today for lunch in a local pub, their version of Shepherd's Pie, made with chunks of meat rather than mince, delicious with a local lager.
Feet are aching now as we climbed up the cathedral tower, only 114 steps but very steep spiral ones so it felt more. The view was good from the top although rather windy; it's actually been windy all day and partially sunny, probably around 22 deg: nice temperature but it feels a bit cold to us coming from the tropics. We've been warned to slap on the sunscreen though even if it's cloudy as the ozone layer is virtually non existent and even dark skinned people can burn here. I don't think I've ever used such a high sunscreen before, factor 50+ but it does go up to factor 100+.
Going to take advantage of our kitchen and eat in tonight, we bought some local NZ wine, steak and stir fry so we're all set to go. We have a pick up tomorrow at 10:30 to take us to the Campervan rental then off to explore all that the South Island has to offer. Not sure when the next post will be so till then…………….