Started the day with breakfast at a cafe in Akaroa and then checked out more craft shops that had closed before we could visit them last night. Found several great items. On the way out, we stopped at Barry Bay’s, a neat cheese shop where they make their own. Picked up some crackers and venison salami as a snack for the road. About ten kilometers toward Christchurch, stopped in Little River to check out a few more art galleries and craft stores.
Christchurch reminds me of an American city, just minor things stand out and remind me “you aren’t in the U.S.” A huge Busker festival was taking place, but walking around several blocks and we saw a single stage with buskers. Either we missed the main area they were performing, or the festival on 16th street in Denver in October is considerably bigger. Visited the Christchurch cathedral, a well-known landmark. Walking in you see two signs that a donation of NZ$5 is suggested to look around. Left there and continued souvenir shopping, got about half my list done for friends and family. Also found one painting to decorate my freshly painted place when I return.
With traffic and hordes of stupid people (sounds like home), I decided we should bail from town and started driving in a random direction. Minutes later I asked Blaise to navigate us to the beach so we headed toward New Brighton (the same direction we were traveling!) Had a nice lunch at ‘Salt on the Pier’ along the beach. The calamari was hands down the best I have had as far as the consistency of the calamari. Could have been better if they had used a lighter (and less) breading. The beach itself was beautiful, it’s been a while since I had seen a proper beach.
While there, did not get any aftershocks despite there being many the previous days, following a 5.1 earthquake less than a week before.
Left there for the airport, had extra time to kill due to a delay as a result of mechanical issues. Caught up on the interwebs a bit and read more of the Hunger Games trilogy. All in all, a long day of travel in car and plane.