So I arrived in Christchurch after my 6 hours on the bus from Picton. Driving to Christchurch was alovely drive and alsong the Kaikoura coastline I was able to see lots of seals from the bus window, really beautiful sceneic drive.
On the bus journey I was sitting beside a lovely wee elderly lady who is from christchurch and lives there so we were chatting for a good few hours. She had been in the garden on Fri 23rd Dec when the quake hit and she said she had to cling on to the garden gate as tight as she could. It was really scary and also sad talking to her, she sounded so deflated and disappointed at what they were having to go through at the moment. It put into prespective my feelings about having to stay there one night, people live there and christchurch is their base and their life.
I was only in Christchrch from 3.30pm - 9am the next morning. I headed out straight away after arriving and explored the 'town'. It was a very surreal and eerie experience. The actual centre of the town is all cordoned off with metal gates etc and the centre has no real sky line any more. Parts of the road were all damaged and had large holes in them, houses had broken windows and damaged bricks everywhere etc. The centre was so so quiet, much like a ghost town really. There was nobody there at all, apart from a few very quiet and contemplative tourists. I felt quite a on edge walking around christchurch really. I know it was all in my head but the ground didnt feel safe under my feet and I really wanted it to be time to just get on the bus and move on. Thankfully on my wat back to the hostel I bumped into a lovely girl who I had met a few weeks earlier so we went for a walk to nthe supoermarket toegther and got some bits and bobs for tea and we then spent a few hours in the evening chatting etc. My hostel was nice and sociable, most of the hostels have now closed down as they were based in the centre but there are still a strip of them about a ten mon walk out of the town, on Belaey Avenue, so thats where I stayed. I trued to keep busy in the night and keep my mind of all things shakey! Some of the other people in the hostel had been there on Friday when it hit and so they were filling me in on the events that happenned etc. They have felt lots of little after shocks since.
Tomorrow I move on at 9am to Queenstown and it is sad to say but I will be relieved to leave Christchurch. It used to be a very beautiful place speaking to people who have been here before and it was known as the most 'english' city in N Zealand. I feel very sorry for the people here and really really hope that they dont get any more quakes.