It's been a busy winter for us in cold, cold Christchurch! Our friend Jo from the UK (see her guest blog here) came to visit for about a month, rousing us from our state of apartment hibernation! It can be hard to make oneself want to leave the flat in the icy winter, but with the help of thermal underwear, Jo's new winter wardrobe from Glassons, and the promise of lots of coffee and cake at our city's fine cafés, we managed to get ourselves out and about quite a bit!
On Jo's birthday we went for a lovely walk (partly in the snow!) in the Port Hills, which separate Christchurch from Lyttelton Harbour. We walked from the Sign of the Takahe restaurant to the Sign of the Kiwi, a small café on Coronation Hill. From there we got a great view of the Cashmere Valley and of the harbour. All the way along our route there were stunning views of the snow-capped mountains in the distance and the chilly weather was actually perfect for a nice, long walk. Here is a picture of Jo and I at the Sign of the Kiwi.
Later that week we drove through NZ's longest road tunnel (yikes!) to get to Lyttelton, where we met up with our new friend Suzanne who lives there. We did a little shopping at the farmers' market, then Suzanne took us on a beautiful (and steep) walking tour through one of the cemeteries and back down into the town. It was lovely (and tiring). Luckily, I had consumed enough All Blacks Powerade to get me through the day. (I think the flavour is called Silver Charge, but it says All Blacks all over it, so I decided it tasted like All Blacks. They play rugby really well, but I have to warn you- they don't really taste all that great, especially when warm. I'm definitely more of a Gatorade girl.) Lyttelton, incidentally, is where Peter Jackson shot The Frighteners and where Joe Bennett, the guy who wrote this book I just read about underpants lives. (It was a really good book. You should read it.) Here's a picture of Lyttelton.
We (literally) took the scenic route home from Lyttelton, skipping the tunnel and instead heading over the hills to Sumner, where we ate fish & chips on a bench on the beach promenade. (Jo had the fish; G and I had the chips. We found that the three of us are a lot like that nursery rhyme about Jack Sprat. We make a good team.) Jo had two thumbs up for the yummy snack, but Gordon was distracted by something to the right over there. Was it a bird? A plane? A guinea pig playing soccer? A seven-year-old gymnast doing five press handstands? We may never know...
We're really happy that Jo came to see us; we had a great time! There are more posts to come about our fascinating adventures, so stay tuned! There will be penguins! =)