Sunday, February 22, 2009


Lyttleton Harbour, the last stop for boat heading to Antarctica (including both Shackleton and Scott and Amundsen on all their respective journeys)

Our hike over the hills, Lyttleton Harbour is in the background.

His Lordships' Lane, a place to relax and let the drink take you.

Today was the Lyttleton Summer Street Party. Roads were closed, buskers were brought in, and food was grilled. And amongst this all the sun decided to shine down too (of course the wind came as well).

Stephen and I headed over to Lyttleton in the late morning to catch the start of the day. With a hot sun and warm breeze, the weather could not have been better. As Lyttleton is built on the inside of an ancient volcano crater, the roads are steep and the views from every house fantastic. The party was stretched throughout the small town with different events at different places, meaning there was walking up and down and across to get between venues, which meant you got sweaty. But there were lots of vendors willing to help cool you off with various juices, smoothies, beers and wines. The wonderful thing about Christchurch, is that public drinking is perfetly acceptable except right in downtown Christchurch; want a picnic with wine on the beach? That's just fine! We listened to some music, watched some 6-10 year olds perform maori songs (I swear we were the only people there who did not know or have a child in that group) and eat some lunch. We had decided we would walk back to Christchurch and enjoy the weather and finally get to see the country side.

The Banks Peninsula is formed on the remnants of an old volcano (see above), so the hills are steep and many. It is also located dead in the middle of the Canterbury coastline, the most farmed portion of New Zealand, so the plant species are mostly invasive. In fact I could name just about every plant we saw. As we gained elevation, the views opened up beneath us and you could see the ocean on the far side of the peninsula and off to the Antarctic Ocean beyond.

After making it back to the other side of the hill, we caught a bus downtown, found a pub and enjoyed a nice cold beer in a funky little alleyway (complete with it's own flock of wall climbing bikes). Our evening has been spent making bread for the week to come and relaxing. Another week of work to come.

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