Our last night camping and it rained – a little joke I feel. The weather has seemed to turn today. It is also Sir Edmund Hillary’s funeral today so maybe a bright sunny day would have seemed wrong. He is so well respected here by all ages, graffiti walls have been dedicated to him. He sounded like a real character and will be sadly missed by NZ. Here’s to you Sir Ed and your spirit of adventure, may a little bit of the adventurer live on in all of us.
We have treated ourselves to some luxury for our last few nights and have a motel room in the holiday park – luckily the last one available. We even braved the rain and went into town to ride the tram around. It’s like stepping back in time as soon as you step onboard. The carriages are all leather and polished wood and the driver rings the bell and provides a commentary as you go along. Christchurch is more like England than any town we have come across here – the architecture, the rain and the annoying one way system. It feels a bit like Cambridge as there is even punting on the river. The town is hosting the World Busking Festival but no shows today – even the deserted information tent had blown over in the wind and the scattered programs were all soaked by the rain. No worries for us as we got to watch TV inside and sleep on a mattress!
January 23rd – A Sad Farewell
The car had to go back today. The chipped taillight cost us $140 which is annoying as I only noticed it after a few days hire – it could so easily have been missed by me at the pick up inspection. We managed to squeeze in the Antarctic Centre beforehand. Seeing penguins being fed was funny and experiencing the ice storm very chilly! It feels strange to lose your wheels and we had to catch the bus back. Again it surprises me how good the transport is compared to our own and how friendly the drivers are.
We are all a bit quiet today. One because we have seen how much stuff we have accumulated and has to be stuffed into our backpacks and two we are all sad to leave this beautiful country and laid back people. We have had such a great time here – it is like the perfect touring country and I shall always remember it with a smile on my face.