Well, here we are on the other side of the world. The international flights were long and tiring, but happily uneventful. We spent most of the time watching films and trying to sleep. Somehow we’d got it into our heads that we were going via San Francisco, so it was a bit of a surprise when our 747 landed in LA.
After an afternoon nap we dressed in summer attire, had a walk round Christchurch and immediately fell in love with it. It’s a beautiful, clean, friendly city. The streets are set out in a grid and from every intersection you can look south and see the mountains.
Unsurprisingly we were awake at 6am, so we had another walk round Christchurch, which looked even more lovely in daylight. We bought savoury muffins for breakfast from a little bakery and returned to the hotel to repack our bags and get the shuttle to Maui Campervans where we collected our home for the next 5 weeks. This time the driver told us all about the 7.4 earthquake that happened here here while we were in France. Quite a few of the older houses suffered damage; mostly pointy bits and chimneys falling down, but there are one or two empty plots where the building was demolished. A small part of the city centre has been cordoned off around an old department store with half its roof missing, and in the urban areal other places are fenced off, either to be repaired or pulled down. All the modern buildings survived, and,amazingly, although it happened at 4am, no-one was killed.
Our campervan is about as different to Ken as you could imagine. It’s a Toyota Hi-ace, less than a year old and automatic; an absolute breeze to drive.