16-21/2/16. We had a number of things to do before flying to Australia. These included cleaning the tent, sourcing bikes boxes and packing bikes and luggage. None of these ought to take much time in themselves but each was potentially time consuming if things didn’t go our way – for example bad weather preventing us getting the tent dry.
As it turned out all went swimmingly with the first bike shop tried having boxes available (in return for a very reasonable $5 donation to charity – obviously we were not the first to ask and good on them for their altruism) and hot, sunny weather at the beginning of the week.
This left us with “spare” days in the second half of the week. Christchurch is an interesting place but I’m not sure it has enough to offer to fill a week of full-on tourist stuff if you are restricted to the city itself. However, we are in the very privileged position of being “time-rich” compared to normal tourists while being “cash-poor” (relative to what we are used, but still very lucky to many, many people). So we have been taking a very relaxed stance of doing some “work”, some touristy stuff, some reading, some “chillaxing” – basically just living.
And it has been very pleasant! We really are blessed in being able to do this! The only real excitement has been the continuation of aftershocks. These have been occurring pretty much every couple of hours since last Sunday according to a website that monitors these things (www.geonet.org.nz). We have not generally noticed these, other than two in the last couple of days which measured 4.4 and 3.8. In themselves, they were OK but the experience of the larger one less than a week ago has made us slightly nervous. To be perfectly honest, we will be somewhat relieved to be away from the uncertainty. I guess if you live here you become philosophical about this risk but, as a visitor, it is certainly disconcerting!
Tomorrow (Sunday) we fly to Sydney which will be a new country for Christine. She is both excited about the prospect of exploring somewhere new and apprehensive about the heat and distances between places. Stephen is looking forward to sharing with her what little he has seen of the country in 4 or 5 business trips as well as seeing a little more of the vastness.