Day 11 Travel Notes
« Today we got up rather early. We wanted to be on the road to Christchurch by about 9AM. This wasn't easy after being up late talking, drinking and stargazing the night before. The drive to Christchurch was uneventful. Much of the scenery was like what we had seen the day before with minor variations.
At Christchurch we found our accommodations, The Charlotte Jane, and were able to check in before noon. It is a very quaint little place - partly hotel, partly B&B. Once we had the tour of the hotel and got settled into our room we set out on a walking trip around Christchurch. I had accidentally left my hat in Wellington and it was a bright sunny day, so the first order of business was finding a new one to protect my bald spot. We went to a number of hat, sporting goods and gift shops and could not find anything suitable. I finally settled for an inexpensive souvenir sort of hat just to have something and then we headed for Hagley Park. First we spent a short time in the Canterbury Museum and had lunch in their cafe. We really didn't see a lot of the museum because we were anxious to go out into the glorious weather and walk around the botanical gardens. It seemed that half of the city had the same idea and the place was crowded. We had hoped to be able to hire one of the boats to go punting on the Avon river which winds through Hagley Park. Unfortunately, they were all booked when we got there. Still, the walk was enjoyable and we spent a total of four hours covering who-knows-how-many kilometers.
Christchurch is another place where I wish we had been able to spend more time. We only got to sample a tiny bit of what was there. There were several other museums, the Arts Centre, and the Antarctic Centre that we missed. I would also have loved to drive out on the Banks Peninsula to the east. We definitely have the area on our list if (when) we return to New Zealand.
We got back to the Charlotte Jane around 3:30 and took a break in our room to rest our feet. We were rather tired from our long walk so we decided to eat at the restaurant associated with the hotel rather than go out again that evening. That turned out to be an excellent choice, particularly since the weather was turning cloudy and threatening rain.