Bates Family South Seas Sabbatical travel blog

Thanks to the kindness of Gillian, we are childless for the afternoon. Feels very weird and strange not to be having to negiotiate every step of the way.

As you may have guessed, we are now back in Auckland, having flown in this morning after a 24 hour whistle stop tour of post match Christchurch.

It only snowed on the high ground (making the mountains even more impressive to look at), but the weather at the Rugby looked ghastly and it was a definite southerly "squall" in Kaikoura, so we were happy to be in the local pub to watch the trouncing.

The emails are coming in thick and fast requesting match analysis- I have put them on the guestbook in case a full scale international discussion on the unfairness of the whole thing is required, but I am sure Gordon will write his comments in a minute.

Actually, while I'm mentioning the guestbook, we are delighted to have all your emails, but are not putting all of them on the guestbook, esp those with more personal comments, and apologise that we can't reply to all individually, but internet access time is limited.

Anyway, the match was over and Sunday dawned. We reluctantly left Kaikoura and headed south to Christchurch along more spectacular coastline and through mountains with seriously hairpin bends (this is the main trunk road of the island and is extremely like a B road in most places). We saw campervan after campervan heading north filled with Lions followers, all on the trail towards the next ground, but our route was clear.

We arrived in Christchurch and returned the truck to the depot- it is probably our first and last foray into campervanning, but has been an experience and then walked round Christchurch. Again the weather was beautifully sunny, but bitterly cold.

After a poor nights sleep for various reasons (K and Gordon's snoring mainly) we flew out of Christchurch this morning and had amazing aerial views of everywher we have been for the last 3W on the flight back.

Gillian met us at the airport and we had a lovely lunch at Viaduct Basin (this time in sun and quite warm, compared to 3W ago) and then she, rather wonderfully offered to take the boys to collect the girls from school and take them to the park.

The have just returned, all in great moods and we are off to Tonga tonight (our bags are already checked in and slapping on the suncream!! We arrive at 3am and then are flying to Vava'u at 11am then are kayaking until Saturday, so suspect there will be no internet for a week- a great shame as it has been our daily fix of reality. Lots of love, Ness xx

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