To show you how excited we are to be coming home, we’ve planned an Open House at our house for Saturday, November 2nd from 4 PM until late. We hope that you can stop by so we can give you a hug and share some Aussie beverages and snacks! If you don’t know where we live and want to come, please leave a comment on this entry and I will email you our address. We sure hope you can stop by and say “Hi!” We have certainly missed our family and friends!
So, today involved a lot of driving to get back to Christchurch, but there were some highlights along the way.
We weren’t far along our route when we had a truly New Zealand experience and that was having to stop in the middle of the road, while a farmer, in a truck and one sheep dog herded hundreds of sheep down the road towards us! And then it happened again a bit later in the morning! I think it must have been shearing time, and don’t try to tell me it may have been some other time for these poor sheep! I have a movie of this sheep parade, but we don’t have it on YouTube yet.
We were definitely in a dryer climate as the lower mountains and hills were brown instead of lush green. But all day we could always see tall mountain ranges that were very snowy at their peaks! All day we marveled at the surrounding landscape. We drove by the viewpoint for Mt. Cook, NZ’s highest mountain at 3754 meters, or 12,316 feet, hoping to get a glimpse of this monster, but it was hidden amongst the clouds. This viewpoint sits at the end of Lake Pukaki, a beautiful teal/blue colored lake and we can only imagine how spectacular the view must be when the mountain makes an appearance! Maybe on our next trip here!
For quite a few days Jim has been looking for a barbershop to get his hair cut. Yesterday we thought we found the place in Wanaka, but It was closing as we walked up. Today we drove slowly through all the small towns looking for a barber’s pole and finally had success in Dunsandel at a place called Chez Barbers. It was a one-chair operation, but no waiting as the woman had Jim sit right down and started snipping away. He got a great cut for the bargain price of NZ$15 !!!
We arrived in Christchurch around 2 PM and decided to check out their Botanical Garden, and we were not disappointed. A unique feature of this city garden is that the Avon River cuts a U-shape though the garden and you can rent boats and see the garden from the water level. Jim suggested we rent a row boat and he would take me for a ride! What fun! It was a classic old-fashioned rowing craft and I only needed a parasol and white gloves to complete the picture! He rowed upstream for about a half hour and then turned the boat around and let me have a leisurely row back to the dock. It was a perfect day for a boat ride! Here are some photos for our time in the garden.
Christchurch has been the unfortunate site of a couple of major earthquakes in recent years and the damage is evident as we drive around. Houses and buildings are boarded up and there is construction going on all around. The city is working hard to recover from these devastating acts of Mother Nature. Here is one photo of the scaffolding around one building that is undergoing renovations.
Tomorrow we fly back to Auckland, where we’ll spend about 28 hours before flying back to Melbourne. It feels like our trip home starts tomorrow!
Don’t forget to mark your calendar for November 2nd, we hope you can make it!