Well a few changes . . . For starters, it’s been very wet with steady rain for two days; the drive from Mount Cook was longer than I expected and we definitely went from mountains and lakes to fertile farming plains; we also went from sheep to dairy/beef farming; also from stunning touristy beauty spots to a big city.
In some ways, Christchurch isn’t at all like I expected. I didn’t expect:
- the size of the city – over 400,000 people and about 50,000 people moved away after the earthquakes in 2011;
- the amount of light industry and commercial businesses on the outskirts;
- the steepness of the hills;
- the beauty of the Lyttleton harbour with little islands and beautiful green water;
- the amount of chaos with closed roads, roadworks everywhere, terrible traffic jams;
- the serious amount of damage to the City central cathedral;
- the serendipity nature of the damage – one building demolished and it’s neighbour unscathed;
the sadness of the locals that things aren’t getting repaired more quickly.
Also I didn’t expect our B&B to be a Buddhist house of sound and calm. Not a bad thing, just a surprise!
Monday was a tiring day but a lovely ending when after months of e-mail chat we met up with Greg in person and had a very relaxed meal together.