Saturday, February 11, 2017

So here we are ...

... as Austin and Tatsuki say when starting a video log of their adventures.

No video log from me.  Just words and photos.

But this is where we are:

in a small studio apartment just outside of Lyttelton, which is not far from Christchurch in New Zealand's South Island

Here is the view from the balcony:

Not bad, eh?

You may remember that one of the conditions of Jim's Australian visa is that he can only stay for a maximum of three months at a time.  It is just under three months since we came back from our jaunt to the North Island last November.  I looked at various options for this trip and then came up with some reasonably cheap flights to Christchurch. I then went hunting for somewhere to stay and came up with this studio apartment outside of Lyttelton.  I had no idea where that was, but it looked like a pleasant place for a summer long weekend away. So here we are ...

Lindsey volunteered to take us to the airport and very sportingly did not withdraw the offer even when she realised that our flight was at 06:45 so we needed to be there by around 05:00!  There is not much that is open at that time of the morning at Tullamarine.  Not really anywhere to get breakfast, unless you fancy Burger King.  On the other hand, there are also not many people hanging about so it took almost no time to check in, get through security and then through immigration.

It didn't take very long to get to Christchurch, either.  The flight was almost half an hour early when it landed!  We cruised through immigration and customs, picked up our hire car and were in Lyttelton in time for an early lunch, late breakfast or brunch, depending on whether you have moved to New Zealand time or stayed on Melbourne time (NZ is two hours ahead of Melbourne).  We had bacon, eggs and mushrooms on toast - which I thought were rather expensive, until the plates arrived

Farley enjoying a mountain of bacon

The view from our lunch table
After we had settled in to our weekend home, we took the car down the hill and went for a walk along the beach path back towards Lyttelton.  It's much, much cooler here than it is back in Melbourne but although the wind keeps things cool, the sun has quite a bit of warmth in it - when it is out!

Friday afternoon walk along the bayside track

We bought provisions for dinner from the small supermarket, watched a bit of television - and had a very early night!

We woke up this morning to this:

One small, lonely cloud over the hill behind us

... and a helicopter, which looked as though it might be doing emergency drills

Lyttelton is a nice little place.  It has a port and a harbour and a goods railway line.  It has lots of cafes, gift shops, food shops, quirky shops.  And on Saturday mornings it has a farmer's, craft and antiques market.  Today is Saturday!  We went for a look.

The market was absolutely bustling. And bigger than the ones we go to in and around Ballarat.  We bought some bacon, chops and fish.  We bought vegetables and crusty bread. We bought a few eggs (We had eggs from the Airbnb chooks for breakfast this morning but didn't like to assume that more would be forthcoming!).  Then we called into the Organic/wholefood/spice shop and found, to my delight, that you can buy flour and oats and other things by the scoop.  We're only here for the weekend and can't take food like that back to Australia, so small scoops of things were very handy for me!  Now I can crumb the fish and lamb cutlets :)

It's not a bad location for a market!

We had thought, when we discussed it last evening, that we might hop in the car after visiting the market and go exploring, possibly driving out to look at the Pacific Ocean.  We are intending to go to Akaroa tomorrow and thought that we should probably go out somewhere this afternoon.  As it happens, once we got back from the market, had some fruit and juice for lunch and sorted ourselves out - once we had done all that we couldn't really be bothered.  We're going to go back down to the little beach and go for a walk along the bayside path instead.  But in the other direction.  After all, we're supposed to be having a weekend away, not a whistle stop tour of the South Island!

Heading down the road to the little beach

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