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Earthquakes, restoration and Maori

sunny 65 °F
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Our last 2 days of the Collette tour happened in the town of Christchurch. The beautiful day trip by coach from Mt Cook gave us multiple chances to see God's glory and creation all around. Let me tell you a bit about the last couple of days. Tonight we will be packing our bags for the trip to Nadi, Fiji. It will be a full day of travel and airports and probably tiredness. But I digress…
Saturday we woke with a bright clear day and the top of Mt Cook was clearly visible. Our driver, Matt, kept looking for the perfect pull off where we could get the postcard view…I think he did pretty well!

Here are a few more shots from the trip across New Zealand to Christchurch.

The lupine flowers here were all different shades…here are a couple of favorites.

I also want to put in a map that shows the size of New Zealand. We only went to the South Island. We will only see the Auckland airport for a couple of hours on the North Island.


Our next little stop was at the most photographed church in New Zealand. It was a cute little stone church with a beautiful view. I think it would be hard to stay on course when the view behind the Pastor looked like this.



We stopped for lunch and a short walk about in the little town of Geraldine. We ate at a favorite of Clare's. -Barker's Eatery. One of our favorite lunch times is to get a chicken pot pie to split. Today we had a peach ice tea too.


After lunch we had an appointment with a naturalist to show us around Willowbank. We saw the Kea birds, the Kiwi bird (in the dark, as it is nocturnal), as well as parrots and ducks of all kinds. There were wallabies and capybaras and Kunekune pigs. Here's a look…


From there it was on to our last hotel in New Zealand- The Distinction. It was located right downtown and was in walking distance of all we wanted to see and do. We got settled in and then went to supper in the home of a native Kiwi family. Patsy (86) and Keith (92) were such a delight as they prepared and served us. We went in groups of 8, and it was quite an experience to drive with this little lady. She started off before I had both feet in the door…no lie! We had a pumpkin soup as our appetizer and it was surprisingly good for someone who doesn't like pumpkin. Then we had roast lamb, root veggies, green beans and mashed potatoes. Absolutely delicious! Our dessert was a pavlova that tasted so light and sweet. I will have to tell you all about them when I get home.


We didn't arrive back to the hotel until close to ten, but what a neat experience! I would love to do that for others on tour that visited America, but not sure who would include Cleveland on their list of cities to visit…lol
We slept hard. Our hotels have all been very comfortable and Wynn and I seem to have no problem sleeping.

Sunday came with sunshine and a morning excursion on a Māori Waka. We learned the signals for rowing together and chanted right along with the guides. We learned about the weaving of the Mokihi carts out of flax and how this was immortalized with the cement weaving patterns found around the walkways.


We did take a bus tour around the city of Christchurch and Matt shared what it was like when the earthquakes hit in 2010 and 2011. He had to dig himself out of his own house. They are still dealing with the re-building! There were lots of interesting sites as we drove. We particularly liked the view as we came over the other side of the mountain and saw the Pacific Ocean.


Our afternoon was spent walking down to the Botanical Gardens and enjoying the peaceful walk along the river. We topped off the walk with some ice cream from Ben and Jerry's. Everyone enjoys some Chunky Monkey! (We went to the Vermont site a couple of years ago, but it was closed for construction. So we had to go all the way to New Zealand…ha! )


Walking home we saw a couple more murals and arch and the cutest street lights. Wynn and I headed back for a quick nap and then got ready for our going away dinner with the team. We were so loud, but we all had a good time, a great meal and a wonderful salute to Clare, our leader. One of the team wrote a song and we sang it to her. (Tune of Sweet Caroline) She had to have some tears. 12 of us are going on the Fiji extension but we had to say goodbye to the rest. We leave at 6:10am for the airport tomorrow morning. So it will be another early morning for us.


So good night from Christchurch, New Zealand. The next time I write we will hopefully be in Nadi, Fiji and all our connecting flights will be made and finished! We had a great tour and are very grateful for Clare!


Posted by brendagerber07 08:08 Archived in New Zealand

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