The road to Christchurch – Tuesday 28th February 2012


We are taking the scenic route to Christchurch, inland, via Twizle. It adds several hours to our journey, but, proves worth the effort.

The first big feature is a series of dams between lakes Waitaki and Aviemore. These were some of the first dams made for New Zealand and date from 1930, when the government clearly had a massive man power scheme up and running to deal with the latent unemployment and global depression. Most of the hard core earth moving was achieved by pick and shovel. Incredible achievement! The turbines they used were huge too, and examples litter the lay-bys.

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At Omarama we stop at the Wriggley Ram for coffee, where you can pay to watch sheep being sheared.
We drove on to Twizle and the colour of the lakes was outstanding.

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Seriously, no photoshop enhancement needed! I don’t have the software for that sort of thing while I am traveling!
We learn that a fine powder is held in suspension in facial melt water. This helps the light refract off the water, giving it that amazing blue. It’s the same principle as finest dust floating in our atmosphere, refracting light to make a blue sky.

We had imagined Burke’s Pass might be winding, torturous and steep, but it’s a lovely drive. The area is used for skiing in inter and John and I, who have never skied, feel it would be a good place to start.

By Geraldine, we think we must be returning to civilization. We near the coast again and the lorries become more frequent and gradually the traffic builds up.
By Christchurch, there are traffic lights, road works, roundabouts and traffic.
Of course, it’s sad to see whole sections cleared for rebuilding, but our first impression, driving through the city is how incredibly hard people have pulled together to withstand a duel earthquake on such a massive scale, plus hundreds of aftershocks.
The city centre is closed but the sprit of the city lives on.

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