Our week in Christchurch was wonderful. Our host Jen invited us to spend time with her, her family and friends for a lovely evening; we found a very trendy restaurant amongst the rubble that was once Christchurch centre; we went to a movie (Selma) in a quaint little theatre with a grand total of 35 seats; we finished up our shopping and we spent time with Jen's dog, Louis. It was marvelous. Our accomodations were so comfortable it was hard to leave!!! We hiked or walked every day we were there and put many miles on our feet.
We visited a few interesting spots in our final days on this leg of the trip. One was the "Cardboard Cathedral", so called because it is litterally made from carboard sono-tube type members. It has been constructed to replace the once-magnificent stone Cathedral which was badly damaged in the earthquakes. In a nearby location, on the now emply site of a Presbeterian Church, a memorial has been built which consists of 185 chairs, all different and all painted white. These commemorate the 185 people killed in the earthquakes and is a sobering reminder of the devestation which is ubiquitous throughout the region.
Having completed our prepartions and having throughouly enjoyed Christchurch, it was time to leave and we packed up the car and were off...on the way to Mount Cook.