Monday, 16 March 2009

Kaikoura to Christchurch

The sea was too rough in Kaikoura for the whale-watching boat to go out, and our trip was cancelled. We were all gutted. However, we'd had a great dinner the night before at the Pier Hotel. It was a real seafood feast complete with local beer.

On the Friday afternoon, we said our goodbyes to St John at Christchurch airport. It was sad to see him go, but we'll see him again in May when we return to the UK for a month. For the rest of the weekend, we'd arranged to stay with friends in Christchurch. Andy's old mate from uni, Darren, now lives in New Zealand with his wife Zoe. It had been seven years since we previously saw each other, so it was awesome (as they say here) to catch up.

Darren and Zoe live by the harbour and have gorgeous views from their decked terrace. They have wetsuits and a surfboard, so we had a go at surfing on the beach nearby. It ended up being more like body-boarding than surfing, as neither of us managed to stand up on the board. Darren had to show us how to do it. In the afternoon, we took the double kayak for a spin in the harbour.

For the evening, Darren and Zoe took us to the rugby to see Christchurch's Crusaders play against Perth's Western Force. The opening was very impressive with marauding knights galloping around the pitch and cheerleaders performing their crowd-pleasing moves. The rugby was entertaining too, although the Crusaders managed to squander their 20 point lead, resulting in the game being drawn.

On Sunday morning, Andy decided to ride up to Summit Road on Darren's bike. It's 4km and 400m to the top so the ride is very steep. Whilst Andy didn't have to get off the bike, he was well off Darren's pace (45 minutes to Darren's 30 minute record). Great views and a 56kph (34mph) top speed on the descent.


Darren said...

I notice you've picked one of the few kayaking photos where both your paddles are pointing in the same direction :) Good to see you both, enjoy the north island, especially the flying fox and bungee!