|The drive from Lake Ohau should have been sceneic but sadly rain and low cloud put paid to that. We stopped at Lake Tekapo where we should have had yet another chance to fly over the glaciers. Luck was not on our side, although the weather was good in Lake Tekapo, the weather on the other side of the Southern Alps (where Fox and Franz Josef glaciers are located) was very poor. It was not to be, just as well I will get another chance to see / walk on a glacier in Patagonia.
Christchurch was ok. Managed to get a good curry though I had to put a bit of pressure on the waiter to get it!!! Well worth the effort, there is only so many meat pies one can eat. Christchurch reminded me of Oxford. I am not kidding. The river Avon flowing through, low bridges and punts on the river. Many of the steet names were also english: Manchester Street, Oxford Terrace and quite a few others that escape me at the moment.
Deciding to be brave 4 of us (Ruth, Sharolyn and Katrina) decided to hire a car and drive south to Akaroa and Lyttleton via Governors Bay. Akaroa used to be a town settled by the French and apparently there are still some descendants living in the village. Basically a 2 road town on a bay, it was very lovely. We were lucky as there were hardly any other tourists in town so we could see everything. Ruth lead us on a walk, a steep one, uphill and initially in the wrong direction but she got us back on the right track...Sharolyn and I were a bit puffed out at the top, but the climb for the views was worth it. Special mentions for Katrina as it was her idea to go, Ruth for her excellent map reading skills and Sharolyn for doing the driving... I had a pretty relaxing day.
Topped it all off by staying with some family friends, Chris and Julie in Christchurch. We went out to carols in the park and to see a rather good firework display. There were also a couple of celebs there: Father and Mother Christmas arrived whilst some stage school students were covering Independent Women by Destinys Child... surreal and good.