November 14,2016 a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Kaikoura, NZ, just north of Christchurch. New Zealand is a country of few roads, and the road between Blenheim and Christchurch straight through Kaikoura, is under repair and will be until the end of this year. Soooooo. . ..that meant a major detour for us. The normal 4 hour drive would now take us 7-8, and we were retracing some of the roads that we took to Nelson just a few days ago!
We left our 171 on Main Motel at 8 am as planned, having had a lovely stay there and enjoying getting to know Donna, the owner. She surprised us with chocolate in our refrigerator, and she was always ready to help with questions. Also. . .and this is something we found pretty much all throughout our stay. . . She provided us with pint sized milk which we could use for tea or coffee. Only we used them for our morning cereal.
Anyhow, I digress. Even though we knew the drive would be long, we knew it would be necessary to make gas, potty, and leg-stretching stops. So in a sweet town called Murchison we had our first break. A stop at the Dust and Rust was just what we needed!
Perhaps we spread some American goodwill here, too, when we gave the owner a set of Coca-Cola tip trays. He was pleased!
We continued onward, stopped for a car picnic (too much wind), passed by almost two dozen road construction sites (this road must now take all cars, trucks, coaches, going to Christchurch and it’s wearing under the strain). Honestly, Don did a fabulous job of just keeping focused and forging onward.
And then we were in Christchurch. Let me give you a little view of Christchurch:
Christchurch suffered a major earthquake in 2011 and we were stunned at the amount of construction still going on. There’s evidence everywhere of brand-spanking-new construction, and still more evidence of buildings that have been demolished, need to be demolished, and are at the end stages of construction. It’s a challenge to walk anywhere without finding diversions and detours.
But walk we did, through lovely parks that first night because we had reservations at the Tramway Restaurant for dinner! And here comes the tram. . .
We settled into our beautifully appointed table and enjoyed a leisurely meal while tramming around Christchurch.
So after a very long day, we caught a taxi back to our Towers on the Park hotel and tucked in for a much needed sleep! Whew!