Friday, March 28, 2014

Christchurch and Dunedin

Since the earthquakes here in 2011, the cruise ship port for Christchurch has been moved to Akaroa, about 90 minutes away. We were pleased when John and Ruth Caughley, staff at Woodstock in the late 1960s when we were there, agreed to meet us. We got off the tender soon after 10:00 and they were there waiting for us. Needless to say, we have all changed a bit in the 40+ years since we last saw each other. They took us on a very hilly road towards Christchurch. At the top of a hill, we stopped to look down on the bay and town in the distance. Ruth had brought along a thermos of hot water and we all had a cup of tea standing in the lovely sunshine. Following that stop, we drove on to their house in a suburb of Christchurch. Ruth fed us a lovely lunch, with many of the items grown in her garden, from tomatoes to grapes. It is early fall here, and the garden is still producing.

On the way back, we drove into the city, which is still showing many signs of the damage from the earthquake. Many car parking lots are unpaved, a sign that a building was there and had to be taken down. Lots of rebuilding is going on. We stopped at a small park at a high hill again, this time to view over the city. We could just barely see the southern Alps in the distance. It was a bit hazy, although the day was nice and sunny. 

What a treat to be hosted so well. We feel we got a taste of this area (in more than one way!), and enjoyed renewing our acquaintance with John and Ruth.

View away from Christchurch

View of Akaroa Bay

We could almost see the Southern Alps!

John, Ruth, Dan

John, Ruth, Anne

Dunedin dawned cold and rainy and we opted not to leave the ship. Our all-day outing yesterday left me quite tired. But it has been interesting watching the log trucks come and go just below the ship. Trucks roll in every few minutes with two trailers piled with newly lumbered logs. They go through a shed where they are presumably weighed and checked for size and type. They are unloaded by a small yellow lift that gathers a complete trailer-load at once and delivers it to one of the piles. Once the truck is unloaded, it moves to the apparatus in the center of the photo where the rear trailer is lifted up and deposited on top of the front trailer. Then it heads back to get more wood. The green machine seen on the left  straightens up the piles of wood and nudges them into correct horizontal alignment.

Included in this post is a picture of the indoor pool in the Solarium. The water is quite warm (I’m sure lap swimmers wouldn’t like it) and just right for me to walk back and forth in. Water exercise is something I enjoy and am happy to have this pool available! The hot tubs aren’t very hot, but still are pleasant on my always-sore muscles.

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