Backpacking Pensioners travel blog

The Stand; Tod's cafe

Breakfast at Tod's

The Farmers Market at Lyttelton

The plant stall at the market

Boating on the River Avon in Christshurch

Boating on the River Avon in Christshurch

The museum in Christchurch

Our last meeting with Lorna and Gary in the Southern Hemisphere

A plaque in Lyttelton harbour

A view of Diamond Harbour

Purau Bay near Diamond Harbour

The inlet entrance

The old steam tug on a pleasure trip


Sylvia's comments

As we have a twelve hour time difference between here and Scotland, we had to stay up late in order to make the phone call to the bank. We were disappointed to learn that instruction will only be taken by a letter with our signatures on and not by use of a fax as we had hoped. It is because of the growth of identity fraud, and we can understand the reasoning, after all it is good to know the banks are looking after our money. But that doesn't stop us being disappointed as the earliest we will get our motorhome will be Tuesday 2 October.

We had to leave our lovely little apartment and find some where else to stay. Not wanting to go too far away, we had heard that the rooms in the local hotel we had been in for the happy hour were quite reasonable, so we checked in. Perhaps I can sneak in without the rugby guys spotting me. So Friday morning we packed our bags and said good-bye to the flat and headed down the hill to the Empire Hotel. We had to leave the flat as it had been booked in advance for someone attending a wedding in the town.

We then needed to head into Christchurch to the main post office to send an express delivery back to Scotland. Hopefully it will get there on Monday morning (Scotland time) so the bank can wire the money to be in the shipping agents bank Tuesday morning (NZ time). Cathy, our landlady offered to drive us in and dropped us at the post office where we were attended too very quickly and back out to explore more of Christchurch. This time we walked up to the Botanic Gardens, passing a lovely old stone building housing the museum across the road from an ultra modern glass and steel building which houses the art gallery.

After having a meal in the city we returned to our new home to find we were above the bar with some loud music being played. At least it stopped at midnight.

Saturday morning we had a nice breakfast at Tod's café, then a walk around the Lyttelton farmer's market. We hope we will be treated to other such good markets as we travel around NZ, as there were lots of lovely organic meat and vegetables on sale, as well as lovely preserves, cheeses and home made fudge. We then headed into Christchurch, once more, to find the testing station that we have to take the van to in order to have it road worthy checked and then registered. It is quite interesting all the procedures we have had to go through to import our motorhome, I wonder if the UK government is as fussy with imported vehicles coming into our country.

We found were we looking for quite easily and then headed into the city via the park areas where we saw our first rugby game in NZ. It was not quite the All Blacks, more the Park Wanders. We were waiting for a phone call from Lorna and Gary, whom we had met way back in March of this year, on our journey up the Dampier Peninsula. They had completed their circle of Australia at the end of July and headed over to NZ for a two month trip. Today they were returning their campervan back to the hire company and will fly back to Edinburgh on Monday. We spent a great afternoon with them swapping tales and experiences about our travels. They have given us valuable information as to places to go and see and we can also refer to their web site as well. Safe journey home Lorna and Gary, we will think about you returning back to work whilst we try and spot whales and kiwis.

We returned home and thankfully the music was not so loud tonight so we got an earlier night We need it as tonight NZ begins their day light saving and the clocks go forward one hour, so we are now GMT + 13. You lot back home are getting further away from us.

Sunday we returned to Tod's for breakfast and then took the ferry over to Diamond Harbour. Diamond Harbour is one of the jewels in the Banks Peninsula. It is set on a hillside overlooking Lyttelton Harbour and is only a 10 minute ferry ride away. Today it was a very bumpy 10 minute ferry and I was quite pleased to get off the boat. We decided to follow the track to the beach and onwards up through the bush. The track indicated it was a 4 hour return walk, but did not say you needed to be a mountain goat to walk it. At one point we were confused as to which way the path was going till Jeff pointed out some steps. We scrambled up them and I do mean scrambled, I had to haul myself up by holding on to the trees. When we got to the top we were on the main road with no further signs to take us anywhere else, so we walked around the road and discovered another track that we followed and took us around the bay and back to close where the ferry docked. We had been recommended the Godley Hotels as a great place to visit, so we walked up the hill and found it in the village. In the bar a television was showing a rugby match. The choice facing us was to sit outside in the sunshine or inside and watch the rugby, which do you think won? Answers on a postcard please.

Tonight in our bar a violinist and guitarist played a mixture of jazz and folk so we had a great evening and met some of the local people. We promised to phone Margaret and Warren when we pass this way in 4/5 months time and stop for a meal with them.



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